Endeavor Roams the Streets of Los Angeles

So this past weekend was quite an eventful one in Los Angeles. The Space Shuttle Endeavor made its much anticipated trip through the streets of LA on its way to its final destination at the California Science Center. I was fortunate enough be to be present at such a historic event and followed along with a small group of enthusiasts. I have to admit. I felt much civic pride seeing the shuttle treking through the SoCal streets with the NASA logo and the US flag emblazoned on the side.

Click photo for a big surprise

Around 2 AM, Endeavor was placed on a special transporter system and was slowly escorted out of LAX onto La Tijera Blvd. Each wheel was being individually controlled via a handheld joystick. Throughout the trek, all of the engineers and police officers were also busy taking photos of this once in a lifetime event.

Click photo for a big surprise

One of the highlights was seeing all the enthusiastic crowds come out to see Endeavor parading through their neighborhood. It equally captivated Angelinos, tourists, and space nerds. As it passed by this shopping center just before 5 AM, most of the employees emptied out of their local businesses to witness this amazing event. Even more amazingly, no looting took place.

Click photo for a big surprise

This was the last photo I took as Endeavor was making its way to the parking lot in Westchester where it would spend the first night. By then it was about 5:30 in the AM and I was ready to go home.

Click photo for a big surprise

Later on that evening, Endeavor was parked for many hours on the corner of Manchester and La Cienega in front of the iconic Randy’s Donuts. It was waiting for its big moment to cross over the 405 FWY. This brought out thousands more, including parents with their little kids, who wanted to see the shuttle up close and personal. Also, the television news crews were out reporting on this event. I stayed for a bit but decided to take a break from the suffocating crowds.

Click photo for a big surprise

Ok, so full disclosure. This is actually a composite image of about 6 or 7 different photos. I had the brilliant idea of taking a photo of the shuttle crossing over the 405 FWY and the LA traffic flowing underneath. Well, I walked over to the freeway overpass on Florence Ave. directly across Manchester Blvd. and realized a dozen other photographers had the same idea. I set up and took various photos of the freeway traffic as I waited for the shuttle to cross. After waiting for about two uneventful hours, suddenly all the traffic disappeared. The CA Highway Patrol had stopped all traffic and then the shuttle zoomed over the freeway. The photographers I was standing with all agreed that it went by too fast for our liking. We were pretty disappointed that the powers that be didn’t consider our artistic ambitions when planning the crossing. So I went home, reviewed all my photos and decided to re-create what I originally envisioned. Oh well, I don’t claim to be a journalist. More of a photo artist.

In the end, this was a pretty amazing experience and I feel fortunate to have been able to witness it as it happened. I am already planning to visit Endeavor again at its new home. When I do, you can bet I will be posting about it here. Stay tuned…

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Karen Eady RimbertOctober 25, 2012 - 5:31 am

Fantastic!

PixamundoOctober 25, 2012 - 10:52 pm

Thanks Karen. Glad you enjoyed it.

Karen Eady RimbertOctober 26, 2012 - 5:38 am

Did you use HD R on your Cuban shots?

PixamundoOctober 26, 2012 - 7:03 pm

Not necessarily. Usually only on the landscape shots. And even then I won’t use all the bracketed shots. Sometimes I will end up blending just 2 or 3 photos, then playing with some of the filters until I achieve a result I am happy with. The Cuban grandmas photo is just one shot, no HDR.

RubenDecember 11, 2012 - 7:18 am

Nice pictures of the space shuttle as well Ralph, obviously that was a once in a lifetime moment to capture those pictures of the shuttle being transported thru the streets like that to be retired forever Good Job man.

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