Dragon Hare Studios – You know that special list of things you dream of doing in this life? The bucket list, the one that keeps dreams alive and hope in our hearts? As I get caught up in life with five young children, a business and every other part of life, sometimes it feels like those dreams are super far away. This year though, I crossed off a pretty major bucket list item – in fact, it was my #1. I used to dream of being an astronaut when I was little. I was fascinated by the night sky and wanted to reach out and touch it. As I grew up, the logistics of being astronaut set in – multiple degrees, flying in planes etc. I chose a different path for my journey but my fascination still has not disappeared. One of my goals for myself as a photographer is to tackle astrophotography!
On January 10, at 4:47am, I was standing on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, five miles from SpaceX’s Dragon rocket as it launched into outspace to make history (first time a booster was caught in an attempt to reuse them!). I had my camera set up but was quite frankly, more interested in experiencing it than photographing it!
We could see the lights on the rocket across the water, then a slow glow started that grew larger until the Dragon took off. We watched it glow until just below the clouds in this image, and then the sound waves hit us. Up until this time, it was eerily quiet. I saw the ocean rippling out in front of us and the ripples grow closer until the sound wave hit us. It grew and grew in intensity, not extremely loud, but so incredibly intense. It was not a sound that we heard so much as felt in our whole body. Incredible! We found out at Kennedy Space Center the day before that the sound wave would kill a human if they were within three miles of the launch!
Then SpaceX grew to the point where it was just a star glaring above us and then disappeared and moments later, the sound disappeared too. We all stood there in awe of this spectacle. What a simply amazing experience. The crowd gathered along the beach with us broke into spontaneous applause!
Instead of satisfying my desire to watch a rocket launch, it’s only fueled the fire in me. At Kennedy Space Center, I stood within feet of a space shuttle, saw the Vehicle Assembly Building and the launch pads where they shuttles flew from and press row where the press watch all launches from! We actually saw Dragon sitting on the launch pad ready to fly!!! My new bucket list item, the new thing that will keep me dreaming is to sit in press row and photograph launches. I was so excited the night before that I couldn’t sleep for fear I would miss it!
The cool part of this journey for me, is that I have a photo of it. I also have a photo of me sitting with my camera and the launch going up. This is one of those key life moments, I will remember it forever, but I will have portraits to keep all of those emotions fresh within my memories!