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.