- What about photographing a night launch?
- Night launches can be really spectacular, provided they are shot
correctly. For the most spectacular shot (a time exposure shot), you
should have a 35mm SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera, a tripod, cable release,
and the right film.
- The "day photography" rules still apply for single shots, since a
shuttle launch will give off a lot of light, and look very much like
sunrise over the Kennedy Space Center. The 100 ASA film will still
work just fine. Set your camera shutter speed to 1/250 of a second,
and set your arpature to f/8. Don't forget the motor wind if you have one.
- You must have a tripod to do a time exposure shot. You need to set up
a separate camera for this shot, but the effect will be worth it. This will
show the flight path
the shuttle takes as it climbs into orbit. A lens 35mm in size or
smaller works best for this. Frame the launch pad in the lower
right hand side of your view finder if you're in Titusville or along the
Indian River, the lower left if you're in Cocoa Beach or at Jetty Park.
If launching for a "high inclination orbit", then all photo sites
should frame the pad in the lower left. Set
your shutter dial to B, and close your cameras arpature to f/16.
Attach a cable release and get ready. Seconds before the
launch, open the shutter by squeezing the cable release and
lock it. Keep the shutter open throughout the launch. Four
to five minutes later, release the cable release. This closes
the shutter. Advance the film. The one drawback is
that you only get one picture using this method. However,
if done properly, it makes for a really great photo.