Lawyer By Day, Astrophotographer By Night

GW Law Alumnus' Photo To Commemorate Apollo 11 Mission On Forever Stamp

Photo of the Moon. Photo credit: Greg Revera
August 14, 2019

On a dark, clear night in 2010, Greg Revera, JD ‘99, set up his telescope and camera equipment and attempted to capture as many clear shots of the Moon as he could. Now, his stellar image is appearing on a US Postal Service (USPS) Forever Stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission.

Rendering of the Forever Stamp with Greg Revera's moon photoMr. Revera, a commercial litigator and intellectual property attorney, said USPS contacted him about the possibility of using his image two years ago but found out about the honor officially in March. His photo will appear on one of two stamps commissioned for the anniversary. Added to the photo is a white dot indicating the location of the Apollo 11 landing site.

This is not the first time Mr. Revera’s image of the Moon has been used. His photo currently serves as the main reference photo of the Moon on Wikipedia and NASA, Time, Forbes, and Vanity Fair have all used his image. For Vanity Fair, famous photographer Annie Lebowitz used Mr. Revera’s photo as a background in a shoot with model Kate Upton for the October 2013 cover story.Photo of Greg Revera standing with a telescope

At a young age, Mr. Revera showed an interest in photography. His father set up a darkroom in their home, and he began his experimentation with film photography. In the early 2000s, he discovered that amateur photographers were producing high-quality images of the Moon and planets.

“If you go back and look at what the greatest ground-based observatories were publishing in the 70s and early 80s, the stuff that amateur photographers do today blows it away,” he said.

Inspired by the images he saw, he began taking his own photos of the Moon, stars, and planets.

To take his photos, Mr. Revera uses digital photography equipment, a telescope, and a process called astronomical stacking to create his images. The photography post-production technique takes different photos and “stacks” them together in a photo editing software.

“The stars really do have to align. I have to have the time to get out there, have clear skies and good weather,” he said. “I have to not have a hearing in the morning and not have to take my kids somewhere in the morning. Everything's got to be kind of perfect for me to be up late at night looking at the sky.”

Mr. Revera has always enjoyed studying science, specifically biology and astronomy. During his undergraduate degree, he initially pursued a marine biology and marine affairs degree at the Florida Institute of Technology and the University of Miami. After taking a Law of the Sea class, he became interested in the policy aspects of environmental studies.

Photo of a half moon. Photo credit: Greg ReveraPhoto of Bodes Galaxy. Photo credit: Greg ReveraPhoto of Saturn. Photo credit: Greg Revera

All photography courtesy of Greg Revera. To view more of Mr. Revera's astrophotography, visit revera.space or his Instagram account.

Mr. Revera attended GW Law with the intention of pursuing environmental law, but his career took him down a different path. After graduation, he went to work for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings for ten years and later joined US congressman Mo Brooks' law firm. He is now a commercial litigator and intellectual property attorney.

“At GW Law, I took classes from the greatest professors, who exposed me to a wide variety of classes and thought processes,” Mr. Revera said.

His advice to aspiring attorneys is to find a hobby that provides an escape from the stress of work.

"I’ve been practicing now 20 years, and while North Alabama is not the most stressful environment, law is a very stressful career,” Mr. Revera said. “You need something to have an outlet for that stress, that allows you to get away and focus on something else. For me, it’s astronomy and photography. I encourage everybody who’s pursuing a career in law to never pigeon hole themselves in one single area because you never know where you’re going to end up.”

Visit Mr. Revera's Photography Website

Read American Lawyer's Profile of Mr. Revera