Father and Son Recreate Space Shuttle Launch Photo 30 Years Later

Musician Chris Bray was 13-years-old when he and his father attended the first ever launch of NASA's Space Shuttle program on April 12th, 1981. His mother snapped a photograph of the two standing ready with binoculars and a Super 8 camera. Last Friday, Bray (now 44) and his father (now nearly 70) were also in attendance at the final launch of the Shuttle program, and decided to recreate the photo they had taken together 30 years earlier.

HDR Photo of Endeavour Liftoff by NASA

Here's a good example of when HDR photography is useful: NASA created this image of the Space Shuttle Endeavour lifting off for the final time by combining six separate photographs.

Each image was taken at a different exposure setting, then composited to balance the brightness of the rocket engine output with the regular daylight levels at which the orbiter can be seen. The processing software digitally removes pure black or pure white pixels from one image and replaces them with the most detailed pixel option from the five other images. This technique can help visualize debris falling during a launch or support research involving intense light sources like rocket engines, plasma experiments and hypersonic vehicle engines. [#]