Let’s be honest, humans are suckers for awesome visual illustration and photography. I know I am, and maybe that is why I love Instagram. It pairs images with technology to tell our stories visually. I tell people unfamiliar with the app that I compare it to being a visual twitter. Since curiosity over the Mars images hit the mainstream news, it has generated a renewed interest in NASA, space, science, astronauts, and flight directors with Mohawks. I have personally always been interested in space and the American space program despite the changing hairstyles. If you haven’t been interested in it before, you will after seeing this amazing photography by by Dan Winters.
I live on the east coast in the United States, which is only a short road trip away from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Lucky me, I have seen a shuttle launch in real life, which is pretty awesome. My most memorable time at the space center was when I was a kid, and I had to endure my momarazzi (mom paparazzi). We spent the day with mom taking tourist shots of us in front of everything – I mean everything. I was used to this torture by this age, but since cameras were pretty low tech at that time, something happened with the film. We couldn’t believe not one dull moment was captured on that flippin film! So, she made us go back and retake every single one of those photos again. I felt like I was in a National Lampoon’s Vacation movie. Dad and I were done with that friggin’ camera. We just wanted to geek out on all the cool stuff the shuttle program had on display, not capture every moment on film. Turns out, those were some of the last photos of me with my dad before he passed in a freak accident making them priceless.
Where are you going with this story, Andrea? I am going right to these amazing shots taken by photojournalist Dan Winters. Reading his story about the techniques he used for capturing these moments are pretty interesting. Don’t you wonder if the engine heat and force wouldn’t just melt the film and maybe the camera? You can check out this article about how he set up his shots on TIMELightBox. He goes into how he taped and drilled everything down so the impact and vibrations wouldn’t change the settings on the cameras or knock tripods over. I have seen many photos of shuttle launches over the years, but quite honestly, his are super charged and consistently amazing in his ability to capture the engine’s power and energy as the shuttle starts and launches into the air. These photos will be in Dan Winter’s new book coming out on October 20, 2012 titled Last Launch.
Dan Winters “Last Launch” Space Shuttle Photography