I've lived in Hell, I mean Florida since 98 (minus 3 years I moved back to NY), and I never went to a launch until the 3rd to last launch earlier this year (man I regret not going earlier!). Photography is a hobby of mine, so I wanted to take photos. My first attempt didn't work out so well. I was in a bad spot (didn't realize it until it was too late), and I had some operator error with my camera. That was for the last launch of Discovery back in February. Then in May I went to the last launch of Endeavour, only to have it scrubbed a few hours before the launch. I was pissed because I was in the perfect spot with my camera ready on a tripod. Luckily, I got back to the same spot when Endeavour finally lifted off, and here are some of the pics:
Sunrise before the launch.
Notice the bird to the right...flying right to left.
The bird is in front of the flames! I couldn't have planned this pic if I tried.
Bird to the left now.
The clouds were low, so the shuttle literally disappeared into the clouds.
I was planning on going to the last flight of Atlantis earlier today, but all week it looked like they were going to postpone it until Sunday. I didn't want to drive all the way down there (and fight with the crowds), only to have it scrubbed. Oh well! I'm sorry that I missed the last ever shuttle launch, but I'm very happy that I got to see/photograph 2 of them. The sound is very loud and you can even feel it 12 miles away. If I'm still in Florida, I'm definitely going to the first launch of whatever the next manned spacecraft is. Looks like that won't be until around 2015 though.