One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mannequins by David McMahon

One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mannequins by 

Mate, this moonwalk craze is spreading everywhere! A real-life NASA astronaut on a suburban street in Caulfield, Melbourne? Could it be Neil Armstrong? Could it be Buzz Aldrin?

No – it’s just a fibreglass figure on the footpath outside a well-known sports memorabilia shop. I took this image four years ago, with a little Pentax Option LF33 – with the shopowner’s permission.

I took a few close-ups of the astronaut that showed some great reflections in the glass visor. Then, as I was about to walk away, a tram turned the corner so I shot this instinctively. Why? Because it’s such an incongruous image – who would ever expect to see the figure of a NASA astronaut in moon gear alongside a Melbourne tram?

After this shot, I walked away – because all astronauts need their, er, space!

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images. I’ve decided to post this shot as my tribute to the Apollo 11 lunar mission that took place exactly 40 years ago.

Featured in SPEAKING PHOTOS, August 2009.

Featured in ALPHABET SOUP, August 2009.

Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

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  • William Bullimore
    William Bullimorealmost 6 years ago

    Very cool framing.

  • Thank you very much, William. The incongruity of the shot is, I guess, its appeal!

    – David McMahon

  • Joy Watson
    Joy Watsonalmost 6 years ago

    Excellent capture.

  • Thank you very much, BubbleBlue – I was just about to walk away when I saw the tram approaching. I was lucky with the timing!

    – David McMahon

  • Tomi10
    Tomi10almost 6 years ago

    lol, great melbourne image of a tram with an Astronaut ‘lost in space’ lol…
    sorry couldn’t resist…great shot David

  • That’s very clever, Thomas – I wish I’d thought of that line!

    – David McMahon

  • Tina Longwell
    Tina Longwellalmost 6 years ago

    Love the DOF in this one! The picture keeps going and going. Very nice!

  • Thank you, Tina – I was lucky to be there when the tram came round the corner!

    – David McMahon

  • imageofpix4u
    imageofpix4ualmost 6 years ago

    I thought it was a new Government approved “safe sex” condom. LOL.

  • I must admit that option hadn;t occurred to me, Alex!

    – David McMahon

  • CJTill
    CJTillalmost 6 years ago

    Nice work David.

  • Thank you, Colin. I should have mentioned that the fibreglass model was lifesize.

    – David McMahon

  • Michelle BarlondSmith
    Michelle Barlo...almost 6 years ago


  • Thanks very much, Michelle.

    – David McMahon

  • Oncemore
    Oncemoreover 5 years ago

    Great shot

  • Thank you very much, Vanessa. I was actually walking away after taking some shots of the astronaut when the tram appeared!

    – David McMahon

  • Mishu7
    Mishu7over 5 years ago

  • Thank you very much to you and your co-host, Mishu. I’m so glad you liked the incongruity of the astronaut and the tram. My humble thanks.

    – David McMahon

  • dunawori
    dunaworiover 5 years ago

    Congratulations ~ Sheila

  • Thank you very much to you and your co-hosts for the great honour, Sheila. Great way to end my Saturday!

    – David McMahon

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