Monday, October 18, 2010

Behind The Scenes Shuttle Story

The launch of the Discovery is quickly approaching.  One of the best parts of this Space Shuttle Project is that I have had a chance to work with one of my oldest friends.  I have known Rhonda for longer than either of us care to think about.  But we've never been involved in a large project together.  She lives near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  So when I heard that the Lightspeed Media team needed a photographer that lived in the area, I was happy to suggest her name.  The four photos on this blog post were all taken by her.

Last month about this time, Rhonda and I found ourselves crammed onto a NASA transport bus with dozens of other photographers from all over the world.  I was taking photos of the Discovery with a long telephoto lens.  Rhonda had a wide angle zoom on her camera.  This became important as we were leaving, when it turned out that our normal exit from the pad was blocked.  The NASA press guide said, "Our only option is to drive up across the launch pad, and get out that way.  But we are NOT stopping on the way!"
So we suddenly found ourselves heading straight toward the shuttle!  And of course we all wanted photos!  There were small, skinny access windows over the main windows on the bus.  Rhonda climbed over the guy sitting next to her, slid open the window, and stuck her arms out the bus to take some great shots as we drove under the launch pad structure.  
I desperately wanted to switch lenses.  But there was no easy way to get to my gear.  So I was stuck with the long lens.  I did get a few good shots out the back window as we drove away.  But Rhonda still managed to get one of my favorite candid moments from that day-
It just goes to show that a good photographer will do almost anything to get the good shot.  And luckily the nerdy guy sitting next to her didn't seem to mind being climbed over :)

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