I have always been a bit of a space geek. As a kid I went to Space Camp (okay, I went three times.....) and I marveled over the 3D images from the Mars Pathfinder printed in a special issue of National Geographic. A few years ago, when NASA retired the space shuttle program, I photographed the ceremonial final flight of the shuttle over Washington, DC. That shuttle (Discovery) was then moved into the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum outside DC, but I hadn't been to see it on display since the move.
Last week, I had a few hours to burn before hopping on my flight between DC and London. The museum with the shuttle is co-located with Dulles Airport, so I decided to jet over to the museum in the morning to pay my respects to Discovery before the crowds formed.
I got there before the gates open, and made a direct path for the space section of the museum once it opened, allowing me to get several images without any people in the scene.
The space shuttle is a naturally black and white subject, so it suited my choice of camera - the Leica Monochrom - well. I used the 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux to help create isolation, and focused on a variety of shots, including some more abstract images of the shuttle.
Today I'm sharing some of my favorites of this incredible piece of human history. It's humbling to stand inches from something that has carried dozens of astronauts to space, and while I normally don't conduct many photo shoots in a museum, this was a special opportunity, and I appreciate NASA's emphasis in preserving our space flight history.