- Posted December 12, 2012 by
Chantilly Highlands, Virginia
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What was your best moment of 2012?
Space Shuttle Discovery
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
On the morning of April 17th, 2012 I stood on the banks of Sully Road outside Dulles International Airport with hundreds of other people as we awaited the arrival of retired Space Shuttle Discovery, which was being carried on the back of one of NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft for eventual delivery to the Udvar-Hazy museum. There were so many cars that had pulled over it had created a traffic jam.
Suddenly there were shouts from the crowd of "There it is!" and I instinctively brought my camera level with my eyes and found the aircraft in the viewfinder, praying my equipment would not resort to any of a variety of ways it had decided to fool me in the past. Inaccurate focus. Wrong ISO or White Balance settings. The wrong program or autofocus or metering mode selected by an unnoticed slip of the finger. The lens failing to communicate with the camera body at the last second.
But this time was different; I had triple checked everything. I pressed my shutter halfway down and the focus locked on the aircraft as I began to pan the camera to keep it in frame and composed. I depressed that shutter all the way down to begin the continuous firing mechanism and began to pop 'em off. And just at that second, the sun came out, bathing the subject in beautiful soft sunlight for just the briefest of moments while the images got recorded.
Once the aircraft had finished the first pass, a cheer went up as I checked my shots and realized I had nailed it, possibly the greatest moment of my career as an aviation photographer and certainly the best moment of 2012.
I had promised myself on New Year's Day that I was going to do whatever it took to become a better aviation shooter. I would push myself and my skills to try to reach the levels of the greats in my field. I still have a lot to learn, but for once in my life I managed to pull it off.
Here's to 2013!