Picture of the Week is back!  I am lazy have taken a break from Picture of the Week but figured this one merited its return.

I was out in Florida last weekend for the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Turksat 5B, a communications satellite for the Turkish government, into orbit.

I went for a streak shot with my Sony a9II and Sony 12-24mm f2.8 G Master lens.  These are always fun to try: you set up your camera in Bulb Mode, frame your shot, and then kick off an exposure just before takeoff (I start at about 45 seconds before launch on the webcast, since the webcast has about a 30-second delay).  Once the launch has happened and the second stage has separated from the booster, you close the shutter to see what you ended up with.

The shutter closed and MAN was I happy with the result!  The three people standing on the beach somehow stayed absolutely still for 200 seconds!

For the photographers: my settings for these kinds of shots are as follows: 

  • ISO 100
  • f9 to f11, depending on the moon phase (it was a full moon for this one so I went with f11)
  • Exposure time anywhere from 200-300 seconds (using Bulb Mode and the Sony Imaging Edge app to kick off the exposure and tell it when to close)

The framing worked out pretty well.  We couldn’t see the launchpad from where we were so I used the bush on the bottom left to anchor the shot.  I was shooting at 12mm for this shot because the trajectory of the rocket was going to be a little taller than usual.  It was hazy and the full moon lit everything up but it all turned out really well!  I didn’t do much on this aside from leveling out the horizon and getting the color temperature where I liked it the best.

As always, any questions please let me know in the comments below!

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