After months of technical delays the space shuttle Discovery lanuched from the Kennedy Space Center at a little before 10pm UK time last night. Discovery is regarded as the fleet leader, having flown in space more times than any other space craft, covering some 143 million miles by the time it completes this mission.
Aboard STS-133 is Mission Specialist Benjamin Alvin Drew Jr on his second trip into space. I met Al in Houston in October 2010, shortly after his first flight, and he was kind enough to sit for my project on astronauts, so this seems a suitable reason to post his portrait here.
For anyone that’s interested in watching a piece of history, here is the video of the launch:
Without doubt the best thing about making your living as a photographer is the opportunities it gives you to witness things that might not otherwise be possible.
I have to confess that I am a nosey sod, so I find most things interesting, but I was thrilled to be invited by Ben and Cathrine to document the birth of their second child following some pregnancy studies I had made of Cathrine in December.
While I was present at (and to some extent, photographed) the births of my own three children, I always felt too close to the event emotionally to do it any justice. In the case of Ben and Cathrine I was able to be an impartial observer, but it was still a magnificent experience. Here’s a taste of what I caught. Oh, and if you know of anyone else who’s expecting and would like to have it documented let them know that I am looking for more subjects as part of a larger project.