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Ralph Hightower
Attended University of South Carolina
Lives in Chapin, SC
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Ralph Hightower

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Some photography humor
Photography-centric web comic CLICKittyCAT published a series of one-liner comics this week based on true stories it gathered from a camera store in Ventur
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Ralph Hightower

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July 21, 2011:

Approaching the 3-mile-long runway, Ferguson pulled the shuttle's nose up in a graceful flare, pilot Douglas Hurley lowered the ship's landing gear and Atlantis settled to a tire-smoking touchdown at 5:57:00 a.m. EDT (GMT-4). A few seconds later, as Atlantis barreled down the runway at more than 200 mph, Hurley deployed a red-and-white braking parachute and the shuttle's nose gear settled to the runway.

"Having fired the imagination of a generation, a ship like no other, its place in history secured, the space shuttle pulls into port for the last time, its voyage at an end," said mission control commentator Rob Navias.

A few moments later, Atlantis coasted to a halt on the runway centerline, bringing three decades of shuttle operations to a close.

"Mission complete, Houston," Ferguson radioed. "After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle has earned its place in history. It's come to a final stop."

"We copy your wheels stopped, and we'll take this opportunity to congratulate you, Atlantis, as well as the thousands of passionate individuals across this great, space-faring nation who truly empower this incredible spacecraft, which for three decades has inspired millions around the globe," replied astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore from mission control in Houston. "Job well done."

"Hey thanks, Butch, great words, great words," Ferguson said. "You know, the space shuttle has changed the way we view the world and it's changed the way we view our universe. There are a lot of emotions today, but one thing is indisputable -- America's not going to stop exploring.

"Thank you Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Endeavour and our ship, Atlantis," he said. "Thank you for protecting us and bringing this program to such a fitting end. God bless all of you, God bless the United States of America."
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While I was at the Shuttle Landing Facility waiting for Atlantis to return home, the International Space Station flew over us in tribute to the Space Shuttle’s contribution towards building the Space Station.
 
On a personal note, I’ve watched many Shuttle landings on TV and on TV, the twin sonic booms announcing their return sounds like “boom! boom”. Hearing Atlantis announce her final return to Earth, her twin sonic booms sounded like
BANG! BANG!” It sounded more like gunshots. I now understand why Florida residents and those vacationing sometimes call 911 when a Shuttle lands.
 
Regarding photography, in hindsight, I should have ordered Kodak T-Max 3200 B&W film from New York with next day delivery, which would’ve tripled the price of the film; instead, I used Kodak BW400CN, an ISO 400 film, and shot it at ISO 1600 without push processing. I shot three frames of Atlantis and only one came out decent; but I did capture the parachute deploy. I still had Kodak Ektar 100 loaded in my Canon A-1 from the launch and KSCVC visit, so I had to dump that film to go to ISO 1600. Since the landing was a pre-dawn landing, I figured that color would be wasted; that was the reason why I chose B&W film for the landing.
 
NASA Tweetup to see final Space Shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility July 21, 2011. Pictures taken 200 yards away from the runway. I always knew that I would be able to see a Space Shuttle launch in person, because that's just what America is about, openess, which I realized on July 8, 2011. But, never, ever, in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would see a Space Shuttle land in person! Yet, that happened thanks...
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Ralph Hightower

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Beagle Zeus
Canon 5D Mk III, Canon EF 100-400 F4-5.6L
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Ralph Hightower

commented on a video on YouTube.
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Typical Tom! "Stay in your lane!"
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One of the best decorated Christmas trees that I've seen!
EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!
 
Go ahead and pout.
Go ahead and cry.
Give up and come on out.
Accept you're gonna die.
Dalek Claus is coming to town.

He's made up his list.
No need to check twice.
You're in-fer-i-or and worse than lice.
Dalek Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you're sleeping.
His eyestalk glows so bright.
There's no place you can hide from him.
EXTERMINATION comes tonight.

Go ahead and pout.
Go ahead and cry.
Give up and come on out.
Accept you're gonna die.
Dalek Claus is coming to town.

>I< #DoctorWho   #doctorwhochristmas  
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Have him in circles
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Win a meteorite, Lunch With An Astronaut and a trip to Kennedy Space Center!
You could win a meteorite, lunch with an astronaut, and a trip to the Kennedy Space Center! Enter here. http://sciencecontests.secondstreetapp.com/Win-a-trip-to-the-Kennedy-Space-Center/referrals/
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Three years ago, I got to see history happen with the final Space Shuttle launch.

"OK, Fergie, we're starting to feel pretty good here on the ground about this one today so on behalf of the greatest team in the world, good luck to you and your crew on the final flight of this true American icon," Launch Director Mike Leinbach radioed a few moments earlier. "And so for the final time, Fergie, Doug, Sandy and Rex, good luck, Godspeed and have a little fun up there."

"Hey, thanks to you and your team, Mike and until the very end, you all made it look easy," Ferguson replied. "The shuttle's always going to be a reflection of what a great nation can do when it dares to be bold and commits to follow through.

"We're not ending the journey today, Mike, we're completing a chapter of a journey that will never end. You and the thousands of men and women who gave their hearts, souls and their lives to the cause of exploration ... let's light this fire one more time, Mike, and witness this nation at its best."

And so, running two minutes and 18 seconds behind schedule, Atlantis finally roared to life and headed for orbit for the last time, just 58 seconds before the end of the launch window.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ralphhightower/sets/72157627392199630
Final launch of Space Shuttle program: Atlantis spreads her wings, one final time. Pictures taken from the NASA Causeway, 6 miles from the launch pad. I am only a few years older than NASA. As a kid, I followed Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo; in college, I saw the final Apollo launch, the US half of Apollo/Soyuz. As an adult, I followed the Space Shuttle flights on TV, saying "One of these days, I'll see one in person!" I finally checked off that ...
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Ralph Hightower

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I'm out of the Dating Game, but this is funny!
Canon! I own 4 Canon SLRs, 3 film, 1 digital.
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I just pulled the trigger on a Canon EOS 5D Mk III with 24-105L lens package from B&H Photo Video. My wife found a great deal on Amazon; but I went to https://plus.google.com/+BandH/posts as my "reference point" and found a similar deal for $300 less.

This will be a culture shock for me with autofocus and being able to change ISO without changing film, but my 34 year old Canon A-1 or recently acquired New F-1 won't become "shelf queens".
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This is the planned route I chose for Lexington, South Carolina's participation in Scott Kelby's 6th Annual Worldwide Photowalk.
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Ralph Hightower

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Got word from Augusta National Golf Club that my application for Masters Practice Round tickets has been accepted for Monday in April 2014.

The Masters is such a visually stunning golf course on TV and the web that I can't imagine what it will be like in person. Check one more item off my bucket list in April 2014.

I will have loads of Kodak Ektar 100 for my Canon F-1N and A-1.
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Have him in circles
48 people
Tumpa Rahman's profile photo
Ancelmo luis's profile photo
Victor Gascon's profile photo
Jen Scheer's profile photo
Kelley Kusnierz's profile photo
Catherine Bencheikh's profile photo
The Art of Photography's profile photo
Antonio Rodriguez's profile photo
Blue Man Group's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Software Developer: C#, .Net, SQL, Database Design
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Chapin, SC
Previously
Cedar Rapids, IA (9 months)
Story
Tagline
Software Developer, Photographer
Introduction
I am a software developer using C# and .Net. I enjoy photography using my dependable, 30 year old, Canon A-1. I enjoy water sports; I have waterskied on three South Carolina lakes, Murray, Greenwood, and Clark Hill, and two midwestern rivers, the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the Mississippi between the Quad Cities (in Iowa, Bettendorf and Davenport, in Illinois, Rock Island, and East Moline).
 
I grew up following NASA's manned spaceflight beginning with Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, through the Space Shuttle. I have seen two final flights, the US half of the Apollo/Soyuz Test Project on July 15, 1975 and the final Space Shuttle launch, Atlantis, on July 8, 2011. Through a NASA Tweetup, I saw what I never expected to see in person, I saw the final Space Shuttle landing, just 200 yards from the runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility, on July 21, 2011.
 
Bragging rights
Checked off top item on bucket list, July 8, 2011, with the final Space Shuttle launch; saw the final Space Shuttle landing, just 200 yards away from the runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility, on July 21, 2011.
Education
  • University of South Carolina
    Computer Science, 1976
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Male