Day 239— “One Small Step. . .”

“. . .for man. One giant leap for mankind.” Those were the words of Neil Armstrong as he stepped onto the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969. Yesterday, Neil Armstrong, age 82, died. I cried as I read his obituary in the Sacramento Bee this morning. It brought back a flood of memories about that time when everyone knew the names of all of the astronauts and they were our heroes. That day marked the culmination of an incredibly spectacular journey that began a decade before when in 1960 President Kennedy challenged the United States to put a man on the moon within the decade. I have always felt a part of that journey because my father’s company, Sunset Line and Twine, Co., played a significant role in the space program during that era and my family watched, hearts in our throats, every Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo flight as they settled back to Earth on the parachute cords manufactured by his company. Sunset manufactured parachute cord during World War II and continued to produce it during the space race with the Soviet Union. I am sad that Neil Armstrong is gone but at the same time, I am proud that my family had a part in that incredible journey, regardless of how small that role was.

When I read Neil Armstrong’s obituary, I knew that I would photograph the moon today for my blog. I went out a few minutes ago and there it was, a 77% waxing gibbous moon, not full, but big enough to pay tribute to Neil Armstrong. The sky is still light but I took the photo at ISO 100, f/16, 1/100, the Sunny 16 rule. Once again I used Scott Kelby’s Camera Raw tweaks to make it pop. The Sunny 16 settings made the sky darker than it really was when I took the shot. I set the camera to timed release. I took three shots, and on the third, this shot, I held the lens to keep it still. It was set to 300mm and the weight of the lens and the camera cause camera shake even when it’s on the tripod.