AP LaserPhotos

While visiting my friend Richard Barron this weekend, he gave me a gift.

It was an AP LaserPhoto copy of a picture (shown below) I took in 1991 showing the space shuttle Discovery being carried by a 747.  They were taking off from Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, OK. I worked pretty extensively for the AP from 1988 through 1992.

When I first started working for the Associated Press, or AP, would scan in the pictures on a spinning drum. The picture would go electronically to an AP photo hub, like Chicago or NY. Then the photo editor would send it out on the “wire” to the newspapers around the world.  At the time, it was pretty cool technology.  Then by the time this photo was taken, we used this portable device called a LeafDesk.  You would insert a negative and it would scan the negative to a small screen.  You could make rudimentary edits and style changes and then type a caption and it would send it via a phone line to one of the photo hubs. By today’s standards, they both seem a bit archaic, however, at the time they were awesome.

Note how AP photographer David Longstreath misspelled my name!

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