Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blogosphere Launch

The last launch of NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis, set for Friday, July 8 at 11:26 am, on a 
12-day mission to the International Space Station, marks the end of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program.

This is a perfect opportunity for me to launch into the blogosphere with my own tales of history as captured by my vision. With 28-years experience as a staff photographer for The Miami Herald I'm looking forward to covering my second and last launch. I'll be playing in the swamp with gators as I set up multiple remote cameras.

In celebration, I'll be giving away a free Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise® 70 Pro valued at $189.00! All you have to do is comment on my blog to enter. A random winner will be selected on July 22. Free shipping within the US mainland. All others must pay the postage through my PayPal account. 

If you are covering the launch, the first person that approaches me and says Think Tank Photo will receive a free gift Think Tank Photo Passport Holder. The second will receive a free gift Think Tank Photo Credential Holder.

Keep shooting for the stars and may the best shots be yours!

Al Diaz

99 comments:

  1. Hi Al, I guess I'm first to post on your blog!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Al,
    Don't know if you will remember this one but the two of us were part of Phil Sandlin's AP stringer class of 1978 (or so–old-age and a faulty memory might have my dates a bit off). We were covering some hurricanes that summer as I recall.

    Good to see you again these past couple of years on Facebook. Keep up the great work!
    Best, Mark Elias

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'll never forget those days! What an experience hanging with Sandlin for my first shuttle launch. Hurricane David 1979 from what I recall but there may have been others.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would like to take a ride in one of them look forward to see what you come home with. Happy gator hunting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great blog post. Very cool giving out stuff to shooters at the launch, wish I was going to be there for the last launch, I'm totally jealous. I'll be watching live on NASA TV for sure. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 blast off!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Will await (im)patiently for your launch photos to arrive on MCT's doorstep so we can get them out to the world! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice Blog Al!!! I really need that bag jejejeje!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Al, 28 years! Wow! I was figuring out how long we have known each other and I believe that it was in 1998 when we met while we were both judges at a photo competition. And then I figured out that my first pro photographer job as a newspaper photographer was in 1969...time does fly! Enjoy the launch!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congrats on your new Blog, Al. See you soon at Joe's!- Guillermo Garcia

    ReplyDelete
  11. you mean the Shittle? Shoot well! I know you will!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice blog Al. It's going to be fun following you via this blog. Have a great time at the launch.

    José Iglesias

    ReplyDelete
  13. Al, Congrats on the blog. I'll be reading it. Good luck with the Shuttle launch. May everything be on time and the crew return safely!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Al,

    Good luck shooting the shuttle. I hope all is well.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Congrats on the blog...it's now bookmarked at the top of my list. Am also a stringer for the AP (since 81') under the "Mullet" in Alabama for most of that time. Did a launch under Phil once (STS-56). Worked with Pete Cosgrove and O'Meara
    (notoriously dunked 16 rolls into the bleach/fix first at a Tampa Bay game on my first day) ...Followed your Elian photos during "that" time. I remember thinking how cool it was that a stringer had gotten THE shot from the big story of the times. Good luck at the launch. Make em' proud.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It only took four days for someone to mix me up with Alan Diaz of the AP, LOL! I'm Al Diaz with The Miami Herald. Mullet, Chuck Luzier, Mark Elias, Eliot Schechter, Stan Badz, Bob Self, Raul DeMolina... we all used to string for Sandlin. Those were fun days.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Congrats on the new blog. Very slick!
    Wishing you great weather for the launch of Mission #STS-135.

    Here's a video for THE FINAL COUNDOWN:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_IKcMl_a9A

    ReplyDelete
  18. Good luck with the launch Al.

    Benny

    ReplyDelete
  19. "It only took four days for someone to mix me up with Alan Diaz of the AP, LOL! I'm Al Diaz with The Miami Herald. Mullet, Chuck Luzier, Mark Elias, Eliot Schechter, Stan Badz, Bob Self, Raul DeMolina... we all used to string for Sandlin."

    Did you forget someone? Hmmmm?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good luck with the gators. Wish I was going with you!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Good luck with those gators Al! Man, how I wish I could be there to see the last one. As a much younger man than I am now, I was at the first public rollout of the shuttle in Palmdale, CA. My father was deeply involved in the manufacturing process at Rockwell for the first craft. My minds eye can clearly see this massive craft being rolled out and just standing there is awe. Looking forward to seeing the images.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Can't wait to read more. Have fun at the launch. Will be awaiting the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Congratulations on the blog! Also, very cool idea giving stuff to shooters at the press site. It will be my first (and last) -- am very much looking forward to it. Hopefully will see you there.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've added your blog to my RSS feed. I look forward to seeing your posts!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Al,

    I'm super envious. I've been a life-long space freak and a shuttle launch was always on my bucket list. Alas, it will never come to pass.

    I've come close a few times with travel to central FL, for various reasons, but the stars never aligned and the missions were scrubbed.

    I look forward to your take from the event.

    Kevin

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am jealous you are down there for the launch can't wait to see you images. Blog now bookmarked.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Always great work now a blog to follow you on. Congratulations Al!

    -- Dave

    ReplyDelete
  28. Al,

    Looking forward to following your exploits! Best of luck on the new blog.

    -Hafe

    ReplyDelete
  29. As I mentioned before, I love my Think Tank products. Currently I am looking to sell my lowepro bag so I can swith it to Think Tank. Thanks again for turning me on to TT Al. Your work is amazing. Big Fan! All the best! I have placed my email on your blogs so I can get them there. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  30. Finally, an Al Diaz blog. One of my favourite photographers from So Fla. Still look out for your stuff here in the UK. Joe

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Al,

    Wish I could be up there for the launch but we just returned today from the NC mountains and that drive was enough for the month. Looking forward to following your photography.

    Jorge

    ReplyDelete
  32. Good luck with the new blog -
    Have a blast! :P

    ReplyDelete
  33. Can't wait to see how you're going to incorporate the gators - good luck with the shoot. Mark Dolan (go gators!)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nice new blog! Maybe I will win a prize too :D

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for the blog. I need to get motivated and do one of these one day too.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Yep, September 1979 was Hurricane David. I remember hiking in New England as he blew through...... Pre-dates shuttle launches though.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Know anyone with an extra sound trigger?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Al, Have fun at the launch. I only covered one back in 1988. The first one after the Challenger accident. Say Hi to Scott Andrews if you see him.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Congrats on the blog! I wish I could have gotten to cover a launch. I grew up in Clear Lake, Texas right next to JSC. My whole neighborhood was astronauts.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Congrats on the blog. I'll be hollering "Think Tank Photo" at you from Space View Park...

    ReplyDelete
  41. Scott M. Lieberman, MDJuly 6, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Good luck with the Blog, and with the Shuttle Launch. Don't think I will make it to KSC, But may make it down there yet. Say Hi to Mullet if he is there!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Bill Cooke, how could I forget. I still have fond memories of those days stringing for AP. We had a blast then too.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hey Al! Great to see you blogging! So happy for you. Good luck on the launch!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Great looking blog, can't wait to see your shots.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Great Looking Blog Al! I will be at the launch but as a civilian with a camera. I've been to my share and just love being there when they lift off! Good luck with the blog and thanks for all of the great advice though the years.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I just saw David Burnett, http://www.davidburnett.com/, but he did not say the magic words. I still have two Think Tank Photo products to give away. I'm having BBQ at Sonny's for lunch in Titusville. Heading to KSC soon.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'd like to shoot a shuttle launch. Guess it's too late. :(

    ReplyDelete
  48. Nice blog. Fun times tomorrow setting up remotes.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hey Al!
    Hope you enjoyed the launch, it was quite the show at the JSC here in Houston. Good luck on the new blog.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Al.....glad you were able to see the last launch of the Space Shuttle. Now you need to see the landing.

    I wish I would have known you would be at the press site...I would have loved to have met you in person. Can't wait to see the rest of your photos.

    ReplyDelete
  51. 28 Years, wow :) I have watched the launch from my pc (unfortunately :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Congratulations on the new blog, but especially seeing the last launch of the Space Shuttle. Green with envy!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Neat site, will be following.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Good luck with the new blog. Look forward to seeing more.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Man, I would love to shoot a launch. Raw power!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Congrats on the new blog. Love to hear behind-the-scenes bits from PJs, especially the grizzled vets. Looking forward to many more.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Nice blog. I hope that you have done a lot of great pictures during launch :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Great! Good luck with the blog!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi Al! Great blog, great competition. Cheers! Dave

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hi Al.
    Wish I could be there shooting the last of an era...
    Good luck on your blog ;)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Great blog! I'd like to win the Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 70 Pro.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Best of luck with your new blog. I am adding it to my reader as well :) That bag is awesome and I would love to win it! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  63. What a great gig. I just spent 2 hours talking about the early space program with my daughter and another friend who have been alive only for the space shuttle program. Great blog, great photos. The UD70 would be a great addition to my collection which is getting out of control.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Great blog! Inspiring! Thanks for being a witness for those who can't be there

    ReplyDelete
  65. I love reading photo blogs from real pros. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I love seeing what catches other photographer's eye by looking at their photos! Seeing the world through their eyes/camera! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Finally made it to FL for STS133 and had a blast! My UD50 was with me then. What a great bag. A UD70 would be a great addition to the bag collection.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Congrats on the new blog. Looks great. Definitely bookmarked.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Welcome to the blogosphere! Looking forward to reading.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Shooting the last shuttle launch sounds amazing. So does a ThinkTank Photo bag. I love my little Retrospective 5, but I can't bring much in it.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hi Al, I was lucky to have been part of Hubble Space Telescope launch ops over 20 years ago and look forward to reliving some of that through your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Your photos of the Olympics are AMAZING !!!

    ReplyDelete
  73. I am sure you captured some amazing shots. Its a chapter in history coming to an end. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Great blog, looking forward to reading more!

    ReplyDelete
  75. jubbz@webmail.co.zaJuly 11, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    This would be great for my nice new camera

    ReplyDelete
  76. Think Tank rocks! Shooting the shuttle lunch looks like the opportunity of a lifetime.
    Like the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hey Al, Dennis Brickett here from Dallas:
    Multiple remote cameras? What and how many. Gonna miss the shuttles. Love the Think Tank!!!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hi Al,

    Greetings from Cleveland! I'm very sad to see the Shuttle program come to an end. Congratulations on this being your 2nd Shuttle assignment. As I was listening to the news I was thinking how sad it was that I never covered a Shute Launch.

    Think Tank makes awesome gear!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hey Al, I want to win the bag! Kevin Kolczynski

    ReplyDelete
  80. Nice to meet you Al, I found you from Think Tank Photo. Than you for the entry, great bag!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hey Al, nice chatting with you the other day, great to meet both a fellow gator alum and ex gainesville sun photographer!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Hey Al, looking forward to reading your blog and seeing your photos.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Al, congratulations on your blog! I've always been a fan of your work, even back to my Herald days as a reporter. Good luck with this! :)

    ReplyDelete
  84. I have been following your photos since I moved to Miami in 1996.... Great stuff.

    One request: please post the address (or link) for the RSS feed so I can follow this in my reader.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Kit,
    Here is the RSS feed. I just set it up. Thanks for asking.
    feed://aldiazphoto.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

    ReplyDelete
  86. I'm working on building the list of all those who have commented.
    I'll post the winner on Saturday.

    ReplyDelete
  87. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete