OK, here they are, my pictures from the last shuttle launch earlier today. I can't believe they got it off the ground. The weather looked horrible, the sky was full of thick grey clouds, the wind was whipping along at a good clip and the air was hazy and damp. But I guess the folks at NASA didn't want to let down the million or so people who gathered to see the final launch.
That's Atlantis from I think 12 miles away shot with a 400mm lens and a 2x teleconvertor on a crop-sensor 7D Canon digital camera. It'd be a great shot if not for the haze in the air.
Note how the orbiter is rotating around as these shots progress. It spun around fairly quickly this time, much faster than I remember it doing during other launches.
I was on a pier behind a new bridge when I was shooting. I caught this when it came out over the top of the bridge. Not long after, she entered the thick clouds and we didn't see the orbiter again. (If you want to see what the shuttle would have looked like on a much nicer day, check out my shots from 2008.)