final launch

I’m always amazed that I have spent a decade in Florida, and have never witnessed a Space Shuttle launch.  That changed today – too bad it was the last one.

Beng a part of the Reuters team that was sent to cover the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-135 was a wonderful experience on a few levels – obviously feeding the geek from my childhood is always fun to revisit.  There’s a lot of geek to revisit.  Secondly, there is a small part of me that misses being in the newsroom, but only for the fact that I miss being part of a team of photographers daily.  It’s that desire to cover a story well mixed with that friendly competition we all strive for in pushing our work and our visual selves.  These guys know their stuff covering a launch – overly-organized, well-prepared, and willing to take the risks to get a different kind of photo from an event covered by anyone with a shutter.

When there are 12 photographers with 2-3 cameras each and just as many remotes, there is a very deliberate plan to where everyone is and what everyone is shooting.  I was given the Visitors Center, where people won tickets in a lottery to be on-ste for the launch among old retired spacecraft on display.  I didn’t count it but I think I had just under 20 seconds to make a frame with the actual shuttle piercing the thick clouds that threatened its departure.

Seven-year-old Chip was thrilled.

Now I’m off to reorganize my Star Wars action figures by their home planet.

7 thoughts

  1. chip,

    i was on the desk last night and looked through the hundreds of photographs that came over the wire. yours always stand out. really nice work.


    p.s. it’s a shame we didn’t get to use any – we had to take whatever the chicago tribune sent us. boo.

  2. whoa! what an awesome assignment…i so wanted to go down there for that. you knocked it out of the park as always. love the star wars kid shot.



  3. Chip, these are so fun. I’m such a fool for not driving down and shooting this. The photo with the Star Wars book is particularly powerful to me for a reason I can’t quite put my finger on.

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