Anaheim, CA – Disneyland: Space Shuttle Endeavour flyover


I took an early extended lunch today with my wife to go see the Space Shuttle Endeavour fly over Disneyland. The objective was to capture that iconic shot…Disney Castle + Jet/Space Shuttle. We arrived early and the park was filling up. I think most of CA today was taking off to see the last flight of Endeavour before it rests in Los Angeles. I heard streets all over were like parking lots and some businesses near the routes were charging for parking. Today was California’s fly over day. We arrived at the Disney Castle around 10:30 AM. We heard it would fly over at 11 AM. Time kept passing and no Shuttle. Luckily this one guy near us (NASA fan based upon his T-Shirt) had one of those special radios and gave us frequent updates. The past few weeks in SoCal has been hot and today it was another toasty one…so every passing minute…was not easy. I’d guess near the castle a couple thousand were gathered to see the shuttle. The kept announcing, “In a few minutes, the Shuttle will arrive and fly over the castle”…everyone clapped! 15 minutes after the first announcement, they said it again…everyone groaned this time. LOL People are classic. Finally we had news it was minutes away! No one had a clue which way it was going to fly over. Everyone prepped their cameras and looked toward the castle. How cool would have it been if the Shuttle flew right over the castle…what a picture that would be!! The all of a sudden the jet appeared! Not over the castle, but way in front of it! We all had to turn our heads over our shoulders to catch it! It was basically way in front of the castle. Ugh! You had to act fast. I think the min MPH of the jet had to be 375 mph. Probably in 5-7 seconds it was gone!! I zoomed in and grabbed the shot above. As it flew away I zoomed out and caught it flying over Space Mountain (below). Kinda ironic! LOL After waiting nearly 2 hours…the shuttle was gone. Everyone around could not believe the flight plan was to fly this way and hoped it was on its way back for a second flyover? We all waited and then heard the news it was already heading up north. Kinda sad. All the people were unhappy…we all wanted to get “that iconic shot”. No luck! I posted on my FB page…maybe Tinkerbell blocked the flight path over the Castle? Oh well…not the shot I was hoping for…but we did witness history!!! Hope to see the Endeavour up close in LA next year!!

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Orlando, FL – Kennedy Space Center – Rock It! (HDR)


If you are ever in Orlando, FL for vacation one great site to see is the Kennedy Space Center. I have been there a few times and love taking the tour. The shot above is from the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Awe inspiring place to visit. The Apollo and Saturn are great subjects for HDR! Enjoy!

Cape Canaveral, FL – Saturn V Booster (HDR)

From the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral…here is another version of the Saturn V Booster. I love all the shots from here, so why not convert one into black & white?  Looks cool!   Thats why Silver Efex Pro is great one click and this is the shot using “High Structure”.   With such a plug in its tough to choose  to shoot only in b&w.  If you do not have this plug in…download a free trial at the NIK site…you will want it asap!!

The tour at the Space Center in Florida was great…perfect for HDR’s.  We have one here in Houston, TX…I’ll get to it one day!   Have a blast!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 12.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22.0
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable Release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Silver Efex Pro

Cape Canaveral, FL – Space Shuttle Bay (HDR)

The Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off today from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on its way to the International Space Station.  There are only 3 more missions remaining and the Space Shuttle fleet will be retired. I will miss the launches…if they are normal launch times, we always try to watch them on TV.

Some info from the web:   NASA said Discovery’s mission will mark the first time four women have been in space at one time: Three women — mission specialists Stephanie Wilson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger and Naoko Yamazaki — comprise part of the Discovery’s crew, while NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson is already at the space station.  The launch comes three days after Russian spacecraft Soyuz TMA-18, carrying Dyson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko, blasted off to the International Space Station from a Kazakhstan facility.  The space station, which orbits the Earth at a height of some 250 miles, is due to be finished next year and is about 90 percent complete.

This shot is from the Kennedy Space Center Tour in Florida.  This is looking into the bay of the Space Shuttle.  A satellite tucked away in the back.  Looks a little tight for me.  Here in the US…our SUV’s might be bigger! Hope your day is a blast!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 18.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/8.0
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

Cape Canaveral, FL – NASA Mission Control (HDR)

Here is the actual mission control from NASA the 1970’s.  They kept it intact and you can see it on tour at the Kennedy Space Center.  Amazing they put or man on the moon using that equipment…or did they not??   Conspiracy theorists can go crazy!  Truly I am not sure?  I think my IPod has more memory that those computers!  Sad, but probably true!  For the actual HDR it was almost black and white…so I just chose to go with selective color to make it look right.   That computer screen looks ready for a game of Pong!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 22.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/7.1
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Silver Efex Pro

Cape Canaveral, Florida – Space…The Final Frontier in HDR

Yesterday’s post was the NASA’s Saturn V Booster Rocket from Cape Canaveral, FL (larger version posted below…your guesses were on it!!!).  When you visit the Kennedy Space Center you can tour the facility and see lots of great sights!  In the Apollo/Saturn V Center there are the actual rockets used in many of the Apollo/Saturn missions.  Such a grand place and ready for multiple HDR’s!   As you look up it is very surreal to think of the history of these amazing feats of human engineering….where they have been and what they accomplished.    During your tour in the Apollo/Saturn V Center there is a cute little cafe inside called Moonrock!   Great to grab a bite to eat and continue on your tour…or just eat your hot dog and stare upwards in amazement!

Its a fun day when visiting at the center…this day we even saw a few alligators hanging out in the sun and two armadillo’s walking the grounds (cute little critters).  I’ll post additional shots soon and give more scoops on KSC!  Only 4 more shuttle launches left…so visit soon if you can!!   I am lucky enough to have seen about 6-7 launches in my time.  All from various locations in Florida.  Fantastic each time!!  I can remember reading you can have one of the shuttles for a cheap price of $28 Million!!!   Imagine parking that in your driveway!   Hmmm, what should I drive today…the Buick or the Discovery?  LOL

For the shot above (Saturn V S-II) I post processed the HDR and thought it was solid, but then played around with textures.  I had this one texture that was purple outer space.  As soon as I added it on…wow!   Perfect combo!!!   If anyone wants this texture from me…just shoot me an email or post below.  Glad to send it!

Talke Photography Settings: (for the above photo)

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 15.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, 1 Texture (purple)

Here is the large version of the Saturn V base in HDR.   For yesterday’s photo, I had to position myself right under the rockets and shoot straight upwards.  As I lined it up…all I could think was…sweet!!  LOL  :