“We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” -William Anders

On Christmas Eve in 2008, Apollo 8 was in orbit around the moon. It was the first time humans had witnessed their home planet from another body in the solar system. Astronaut William (Bill) Anders made this photograph, “Earthrise” from the window of the command module as the spacecraft at the beginning of the fourth orbit of the moon. It was taken with a specially “space modified” Hasselblad ELM camera with 70mm film. This photograph is one of the best-known pictures in the world.

William Anders, 1969 by Yousuf Karsh

This month, July 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

Read other vignettes of influential photographers in On Photography.