It was a beautiful night for a rocket launch this evening in Cocoa, Florida, where I set up a Nikon and a GoPro to capture the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This was a special mission – Inspiration4, the first private human spaceflight mission to orbit. Commissioned by Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman, it aims to raise awareness for the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. And also, no doubt, to mount a landmark adventure.
The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 8:02 p.m. EDT. A few clouds made the launch even more beautiful as the rocket lit them during its ascent, and then the sun caught the vehicle and its contrail, creating the “jellyfish” effect one often sees just after sunset or just before dawn. The SpaceX launches are always visually interesting at night for their colorful effects during the journey, especially when captured with a zoom lens, as in this post.
Tonight, I used purely a wide angle lens on the Nikon D7100, my trusty 12-24mm, and I stacked a handful of images to create the still photo. I probably could’ve gotten a cool image just by leaving the shutter open, but I wanted to try it this way. I set the GoPro to shoot in “nightlapse” mode to produce the video.