By digging through the online image archives of various space probe missions, photographer and filmmaker, Michael Benson, has compiled his third collection of planetary landscape photography. The images–many of them close-ups of the surfaces of moons, asteroids and Mars–offer an awe-inspiring look at the desolate places that were once only imagined by science fiction writers and filmmakers. Benson photographs the black-and-white images through various filters to render the scenes in color, then he layers the images with a complicated compositing process. Going through the RAW images, he says, “is like being along for the ride. There’s a lot of panning for gold in the archives, which I really enjoy. And if you’re lucky you get something really unusual. You just sort of know it when you see it.”

PDN Photo of the Day