to my personal photography blog. I specialize in making unique and highly detailed photographs. Notice I said making and not taking. Yes I take photos but a lot of time and work is involved in pushing and punishing the pixels in my images to achieve the look I like.
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Can't we all just get along?
Entries in Travel (136)
The Space Shuttle Enterprise in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Smithsonian's Udvar Hazy Center Museum. Wow that was a mouthful. It's really quite amazing to walk into this hanger and see a space shuttle parked right in front of you. Even if that shuttle has never been in space. This was a test vehicle and was flown off the back of a specially modified 747. Astronaut and Enterprise test pilot John Young once mentioned that the Enterprise had the gliding characteristics of a brick. More Udvar Hazy Center images here.
In 1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright flipped a coin to decide who would attempt the first controlled, powered flight in a heavier-than-air aircraft which they themselves had designed. Orville, a 32 year old bicycle mechanic won the coin toss.
24 years after their success, Charles Lindbergh flew alone from New York to Paris in the high wing monoplane the "Spirit of St. Louis”. You can see it hanging from the ceiling in this image on the left side. 150,000 cheering Parisians greeted him when he landed at Le Bourget. He was 25 years old.
42 years later he personally witnessed the launch of the giant Apollo 11 moon rocket topped by the Command Module "Columbia" which you can see in the foreground. The Columbia carried Michael Collins, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Neil Armstrong to the Moon. And it was there on July 20, 1969 during the final moments before the landing when Neil had to take manual control of the Lunar Module "Eagle" because their targeting computer was guiding them to a landing spot covered with car size boulders. He successfully landed the Eagle with six seconds of fuel remaining. He was 39 years old.
Over 66 years these men in their twenties and thirties made world history as did everyone who supported their endeavors. Not just for the United States but for all mankind. It's just amazing to me that at one time all three historic flying machines resided in the Milestones of Flight Gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and anyone could just walk in and see them all at once.
When I am lucky enough to visit and I see kids and even adults just pass through this gallery and not really give any of the exhibits here a second glance, I wonder if they have any idea how historic these artifacts are and how they changed our world so profoundly.
This image is fairly unique. You might notice there are no people in it. This is very rare since the National Air and Space is the most visited museum in the world. Manny and I had just seen a few IMAX movies in the museum. We figured that by the time the last film had concluded, the museum would be closed. We planned to linger behind for a few minutes to let the crowd exit the building so I could get this and a few other shots before the security guards kicked us out (which they politely did).
(Note: The Wright Brother's 1903 flyer is now located in its own gallery and is displayed at floor level so guests can get a better look at it.)
Kathy and I were walking around the financial district in San Francisco when we decided to go into this shopping center in search of lunch. This was taken from the food court on the bottom level. I just set the camera on the table, lens facing skyward and tried to keep my head out of the way. Lots of stores here I never ever shop in.
American men and women, most serving far from home are protecting the independence and freedom we are celebrating today. Some like the elite members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry are guarding the tomb of the unknowns in Washington D.C.'s Arlington National Cemetery. The unidentified remains of American Servicemen are interred here. The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of weather conditions.
The first time I visited the Lincoln Memorial I remember thinking it was a very beautiful place and wonderfully sited. Lincoln's Statue gazes over the heads of visitors and seems to be looking at the wonders of the National Mall spread out before him. These include the long reflecting pool, World War II Memorial, Washington Monument and the United States Capital Building. Although the statue evokes a strong feeling of his resolve to preserve the Union, it also feels somewhat sad. Lincoln is not depicted in glory but instead he seems serene and reflective.
It's really a miracle that men and women work outside of the international space station, often for hours without the benefit of a tether. The spacesuits they wear are in fact personal spacecraft providing everything they need to survive in the harsh reality that is space. These suits maintain a constant 72 degrees farenheit when the environmental temperature is +250 in the sun and -250 in the shade. Extraordinary engineering.
The US Navy's RA-5C Vigilante aircraft has a giant wing. I was hiding from the sun here for a while so I decided to lay down and take a photo. Some smart ass kids asked If I had fallen and couldn't get back up. I regained my feet rapidly and towered over them not saying a word. They left immediately. Little yuppie larvae.