This is What a Rocket Launch Does to a Camera 45 Yards Away
DAY 343/366: (Use Instagram's zoom feature on this!) Shooting rocket launches includes risk… Solid rocket booster exhaust and dirt/debris from Space Launch Complex 37B pelted my 18-55mm lens last night. I measured the camera's distance from the rocket in Google Earth and the camera was just over 45 yards away. The photos were worth it! Luckily I'll be able to wipe some of it off with water and baking soda, but as I'm nit-picky when it comes to sharpness and image quality, I'll likely replace the lens or its front element. Before you comment that I'm an idiot and should've protected the lens with a filter, keep in mind that these lenses sit out for 8-48+ hours and dew can accumulate on the lens and both sides of a potential filter at night. Filters also introduce glare, flare, and ghosting due to the extremely bright engines on the rocket. They'll also reduce image quality. If it were to shatter, it could damage my lens even more. It could get stuck on the lens as well.
Ignition! The RS-68A engine and GEM solid rocket boosters ignite as flames dance around the Delta IV rocket's first stage. The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Medium+ (5,4) would go on to successfully deliver the WGS-8 Air Force satellite to supersynchronous orbit, completing ULA's 114th successful mission since its formation in 2006. Last night I didn't have time to edit all my shots before we left the launchpad, so I immediately scanned through them and posted the one I thought was best. Then I found this one… This one was pretty dark originally; I actually pulled it up three stops in Lightroom. Maybe it's recency bias, but this has to be one of my favorite launch photos. Since I posted it the day after it occurred, this will retroactively replace my photo of the day for yesterday. #nikon #nikond7100 #redditphotography #redditphotoproject #366project #365project #366daychallenge #photoaday #342 #day342 #deltaiv #delta4 #rocket #rocketlaunch #capecanaveral #spaceflight #space #ula #ulalaunch #unitedlaunchalliance #spacecoast #wgs8 #wgs_8 #remotecamera #sound #florida