I was surprised to see a reference to O. Winston Link in the Blue Nile book. It turns out that the inspiration for the first album's cover photograph was Link's iconic black and white night photography of fifties America. I'm a big fan of Link's work and own two books of his photography. He was an astonishing craftsman and went to improbable lengths to achieve his amazing floodlit images.
It's kind of obvious now, given the "period Americana" themes in so many of the lyrics, but the connection had never occurred to me.
More on Link here:
O. Winston Link museum
(Edit: I see from the Wiki article that Link has a cameo in the film "October Sky", based on Homer Hickam's book Rocket Boys, neatly bringing us back to space, rocketry, and all things sci-fi. I highly recommend the film, incidentally).