Dan Winters’ gorgeous photos of final Space Shuttle missions on display


posted Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 6:35 PM EDT


The Space Shuttles may have flown their last missions but you can relive them in all their glory at a new photography show from Dan Winters titled "Last Launch." The show, which opens tomorrow at the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, includes many of Winters' dramatic images of the final launches of the Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor Space Shuttles, along with other cosmic ephemera from NASA's past.

Winters was given special access to the shuttles, which were mothballed after their final missions in 2011. A story last year on Time LightBox detailed the meticulous preparation Winters went through to create these powerful shots.

"The work begins the day before launch, when he positions up to nine cameras as little as 700 ft. (213 m) away from the pad. Each camera is manually focused and set for the particular shot it is meant to capture, and the wheels of the lens are then taped into position so that they can’t be shaken out of focus when the engines are lit. Electronic triggers—of Winters’ own devising—that do react to the vibrations are attached to the cameras so that the shutter will start snapping the instant ignition occurs," according to LightBox.

"To prevent the cameras from tipping over on their tripods, Winters drills anchoring posts deep into the soil and attaches the tripods to them with the same tie-down straps truckers use to secure their loads. He also braces each leg of the tripod with 50-lb. (23 kg) sandbags to minimize vibration. Waterproof tarps protect the whole assembly until launch day, when they are removed and the cameras are armed. Throughout the launch, they fire at up to five frames per second. Only after the vehicle has vanished into the sky and the pad crew has inspected the area for brushfires, toxic residue and other dangers, are the photographers allowed to recover their equipment."

The show runs through August 31, 2013 at the Fahey/Klien Gallery, which is located at 148 North La Brea in Los Angeles. Visit the gallery's website to see more of Winters' images here. You can also purchase a book of Winter's "Last Launch" images here.

You can also see two cool time-lapse videos of Space Shuttle Endeavor's trip through LA's streets here, as well as a mesmerizing clip of Endeavor soaring over California on the back of a jump jet here.

Endeavour Passes Through the Clouds, May 16, 2011 (Photo by Dan Winters)
John Glenn's Mercury Suit, 2001 (Photo by Dan Winters)
Discovery Flight Deck, Cape Canaveral, 2011 (Photo by Dan Winters)
Glove, Apollo Program, 2013 (Photo by Dan Winters)
Endeavour on her pad, May 15, 2011 (Photo by Dan Winters)