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Is That A Rocket Launch?

One of the first rocket launches I photographed was totally by accident. In June of last year I was at Cape Hatteras shooting Milky Way images and just after moonrise I noticed an odd red glow on the back of my camera. I thought that it was possibly some type of moon flare and since the moonlight was making it increasingly difficult to see the stars I packed up and headed in for the night.

A few days later I saw a post by another photographer shooting a few miles away from where I was talk about capturing the same thing and identifying it as the plume from a SpaceX rocket launch. When I went back and reviewed my images sure enough you could see not only the growing plume but the rocket streaking through the shot.


This serendipitous moment may have been when I decided I really wanted photograph rocket launches. I had been toying with the idea for sometime but only as an after thought. A few months later I captured one from a hundred or so miles away and then another in January of 2023. February I drove to Wallops Island, Va for a scrubbed launch and finally in late May everything lined up and I was in Titusville for the SpaceX ArabSat mission.

It was a bit cloudy and I wasn't exactly sure where it would come up but afterwards it was clear I was hooked. I've captured 4 launches now in almost 6 weeks and I have plans for several more in the next 6 weeks. I prefer night shots to daylight of course unless I can get really close.


Needless to say I now pay much closer attention to rocket launch schedules and visibility radiuses.


Please check out my available prints here.


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