Texas alloy who prisoner iconic picture of Columbia disaster is now a operative …

A lot has altered in a decade given Dr. Scott Lieberman prisoner an iconic shot of Space Shuttle Columbia violation apart on Feb. 1, 2003. The 6-megapixel digital camera he used to constraint a shot was a oddity afterwards — he’d had to sequence it from a Canadian distributor given he couldn’t find one in a U.S. To get a print out to a world, he had to expostulate a record to a bureau of his internal newspaper. And given then, of course, a United States stopped drifting space shuttles.

Lieberman has picked adult a sideline to his interventional cardiology use in a decade given a disaster. He’s an eccentric agreement writer to a Associated Press now, with hundreds of photos carrying his credit.


Lieberman’s print seemed on a front page of substantially each U.S. paper, including this one, that is republished courtesy of a Newseum

“Getting published was a fantastic, abdominal event,” he says on a phone from Tyler, Texas, where he still lives.

After his Columbia shot finished adult on the front pages of some-more than 100 newspapers and a covers of Time and Paris Match, Lieberman says he complicated “hundreds of thousands of images” and befriended AP photographers he could learn from. He attended convey launches and landings — in fact, he scored with another convey shot in 2006 when Shuttle Discovery was streamer behind to Florida after a stopover during Barksdale Air Force Base. He attended with many other photographers.

“Almost everybody left” after a convey took off and headed north, Lieberman remembers. “Last time we looked, Florida was south and easterly of us.” So he lerned his tripod on a early sky and prisoner a shot of a convey silhouetted opposite a red morning light. “That was not a reticent fitness picture,” he says.

Lieberman says he has “a small bit of a scientist’s, observer’s nature, and we consider that’s what we pierce into a photos.” Also, he says, he can means good equipment. He’d purchased a 6-megapixel Canon EOS-D60 he used for a strange Columbia design as a approach to get behind into photography before a outing to Alaska. “You substantially did have to be a alloy or a counsel to have one of those things,” he says, laughing. He says he gets a lot of use out of his 400mm f2.8 lens, a really costly square of glass. “I’ve always pronounced what we miss in ability we can recompense for in improved equipment,” he says.


This 2007 print shows a helicopter acid for a blank chairman in Texas. (AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman)

When Lieberman’s Columbia design ran on a cover of Time, a photojournalism investiture still regarded digital photography with a somewhat heedful eye. Vin Alabiso was conduct of photography for AP when Poynter’s Kenny Irby interviewed him about Lieberman’s photo; he likely during a time a image, that a handle use disseminated hours after a event, would wear down some of that resistance. “There is no doubt that this print will be one famous sketch of a year,” Alabiso told Irby. “Additionally, given a record of a day and a present smoothness abilities, cinema can now pierce further, faster than ever before. Tyler helped us make this happen.”

“Suddenly there was an appreciation that, yes, we could lift a digital camera,” Lieberman says. “The warning that existed was secure some-more in a speed than in design quality,” Poynter’s Kenny Irby says. “The media attention would only as shortly settle for a reduce fortitude support squeeze given a miss of a peculiarity still photograph.” Irby says Lieberman’s sketch did “contribute to a clever validation in a intensity and energy of digital photography for genuine time news coverage.”

And of course, Lieberman’s print came during a emergence of a golden age for citizen journalists — from George Holliday’s Rodney King video to Janis Krum’s print of a “Miracle on a Hudson.” It’s no longer startling when someone not employed as a photographer takes a shot that amazes a world. (Sadly, it’s also a time in that it’s no longer startling to hear about photographers who are no longer employed.)

“There is no doubt that Dr. Lieberman prisoner a ancestral impulse in U.S. space moody history,” Irby says. “It positively contributed to a enlargement of citizen broadcasting in a detailed stating arena. And it is quite singular that someone of his veteran fulfilment would continue to consistently minister to use photojournalism professionally. His contributing work with Associated Press has been commendable.”

Lieberman takes photos of celebrities who come by Tyler, and he infrequently self-assigns news events where he knows pros will be so he can try to get an surprising shot. And he still trains his lens on a sky with some magnitude — lightning is a specialty. In fact, one of his shots of lightning in a Texas sky ran in USA Today this week.


A 2011 print of lightning over a Heritage Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas (AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman)

I had to ask: Does Lieberman’s medical training ever come in accessible when he’s moonlighting? Under a constraints of a Hippocratic Oath, he couldn’t give me specifics, he says, though he’s helped associate photographers in a margin — one during a convey launch — and also given many of them medical recommendation on a phone or around his Facebook page. “I’ve felt some-more than thankful to assistance them when we can,” he says. “I’ve schooled a lot by bearing to these people.”

Once during a Tyler journal offices, he says, an editor complained of some symptoms and Lieberman suggested he get a highlight test. The man finished adult carrying surgery. “I wouldn’t burst adult and down and contend it saved his life, though it positively could have,” he says. He’s done durability friendships with people he hasn’t sent to a gurney, too. “As awful as a strange design was, a disaster it represented, some good has come out of it,” he says.


Space Shuttle Atlantis lifting off in Sep 2006. Atlantis was a final convey to fly; a module finished in 2011. (AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman)