This morning I joined a throng of excited Californians as the Space Shuttle Endeavour made its majestic final flight over California’s Capitol atop a modified Boeing 747 on its way to permanent display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The crowd around me grew anxious as Endeavour was about 15 minutes late. Then, suddenly and without fanfare at 9:48AM Endeavour lumbered into view. It was huge, loud, and flew low over Capitol Mall then as quickly as it arrived, it disappeared behind a tree. I was standing in the median near the State Library and Courts building, facing west when the crowd grew silent then cheered as Endeavour came into view and just a quickly disappeared behind the canopy of trees. Thanks to one of the TV cameramen, we knew which way to face to capture the shot, then knew to wait a few minutes as Endeavour made a loop over Roseville and Fair Oaks, then reappeared at 9:55 and flew behind the Capitol. It was escorted by an F16 fighter jet that I didn’t see on the first fly by, and actually didn’t see on the second fly by until I downloaded the shots. It was an exciting event to be a part of but I hadn’t planned to go and I drove downtown on a whim after reading an article about it in this morning’s Bee. And, as fate would have it, today’s challenge theme is “whimsical” and while this is not a whimsical shot nor is the subject whimsical, I was there on a whim and I really lucked out because I found a parking place nearby, I confidently strode to the median where another photographer had set up a tripod, and I acted like I knew what I was doing.
I made no adjustments to the first two shots other than to remove the spots in the blue sky that indicate my sensor is in dire need of cleaning. The shot of the shuttle behind the capital required a little additional tweaking as I faced into the morning sun as the lens flare indicates.