Saturday, July 18, 2009

Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission STS-127 Launch Photos

Like many folks, I've always been fascinated by space travel, the missions NASA undergoes, the space shuttles, and everything else surrounding them!

For years, I've wanted to view a launch in person. Last November, I got to watch the night launch of Endeavour's STS-126 mission from about 12 miles away in Titusville. It was amazing! Unfortunately, we didn't quite plan for light metering brighter than the sun... so the photos weren't so great. We had no clue what to expect!

This past week, we headed over to Kennedy Space Center to view Endeavour's STS-127 mission daytime launch. We were onsite and ready for attempt #5, which was scrubbed ... and onsite for attempt #6 - which was a success!

Thanks for Denny & Maureen, we had access to the onsite VIP launch viewing area, approx. 3 miles away from the launchpad - the closest possible viewing point.

I was running 2 Canon 5D Mark II's and a JVC HD video camera. One 5DmkII started on a tripod with the 70-200mm f2.8 L IS and a 2x converter on it, though I tore it off of the tripod moments after launch. The other 5DmkII was outfitted with a 24-70mm f2.8 L for wider shots.

The experience was amazing! The huge crowd, hundreds of cameras, the countdown.... then the smoke, fire, and roar!

I'll only be posting a fraction of the shots here. See below for a link to the full set!

STS 127 launch access placard

Above: STS-127 Launch Vehicle Access Placard

Endeavor STS-127 Launch: A crop in of the last liftoff photo

Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: A crop in of the last liftoff photo

More photos of the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission STS-127 after the break! Click here!

Jessica Simpson Rocks the Plant City Strawberry Festival

This Spring, Jessica Simpson performed at the 2009 Plant City Strawberry Festival.

She looked and sounded pretty good! Her band, headed up by drummer / musical director Gorden Campbell, was great!

Here are just a few shots from the show... More are available upon request!

Jessica Simpson by Will Hawkins
Jessica Simpson

More photos of Jessica Simpson after the break! Click here!

A Great Day with Gorden Campbell

Superstar drummer and all around nice guy Gorden Campbell recently toured through the Tampa Area (@ The Plant City Strawberry Festival) while playing for Jessica Simpson.

We linked up for some photos before and during his performance with Jessica.

Gorden Campbell by Will Hawkins
Gorden Campbell

More photos of Gorden Campbell after the break! Click here!