I’d like to say I’ve been a “space geek” since I was a little kid, but I wasn’t. Astronaut was never on my “when I grow up” occupations list. I didn’t attend space camp (too expensive), and have never had astronaut ice cream (I suspect it doesn’t really compare to a good gelato). Now, it is the one thing I would like to experience more than anything else.
It took me a while to figure it out, but I realized I wanted I wanted to photograph a Space Shuttle launch before the program is terminated this summer. This experience had a profound impact on me. While I think the photos below are cool, they fail to describe the experience of being there. In my defense, so does every other photo I’ve ever seen of it. I’m also certain to fail describing it in words. On one hand it is a incredibly graceful event (or at least as graceful as 6.7 million pounds of thrust propelling the weight of 12 semi-trucks into space can be. On the other hand seeing the Shuttle and previous rockets up close, it becomes apparent just how crude these attempts are. Patches of assorted metals, ceramic bricks, pipes, wires, and millions of gallons of the most flammable stuff we can fill up with comprise these bold adventures into an incomprehensibly vast expanse. While it isn’t the picture the PR department at NASA might want to paint, I think it makes the fact that we so often succeed even more amazing.
With that, I leave you to enjoy these, my attempts, to depict an event that has become so common place that we are want to forget how just how miraculous it is.
On another note, if you want to order some of these prints you can do so here. While an official fine-art print program is being finalized, I wanted to make these available due to the number of requests for them.
I would like to thank Paul at LensProToGo who (as usual) provided amazing service and gear that would be far too expensive for me to own that made these photos possible.
For those of you craving technical details. With the exception of the first image, all of these photographs were shot with a Nikon D2x with a 600mm f4 lens (effectively 900mm) or a D3s and the 70-200 and a TC-20 III (effectively 400mm) from NASA causeway.