I’m back from my whirlwind trip to Florida’s Space Coast, where I was among those privileged to witness the final launch of the space shuttle. STS-135 lifted off around 11:29am on Friday, July 8th; the final shuttle mission ever.
Photographically speaking, we didn’t have ideal conditions. It was hazy, humid, and we were 12 miles from Pad 39A. I used my Nikon D300s with a Nikkor 600mm f/4 VR lens and TC-14E teleconverter for this shot. We had all of 40 seconds to shoot Atlantis as she rocketed into orbit before she disappeared into the low clouds over Cape Canaveral. I realize that there are better images out there from those who had VIP access, but I’m proud to have been a witness to history and get my own shot of that day.