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Sound Triggered Cam Captures Delta IV Rocket Launch Up Close



John Kraus is quickly making a name for himself with his top notch rocket launch photos. We’ve shared his work before, but his latest photo of a Delta IV launch warrants a double helping.

Kraus, who is on staff for AmericaSpace.com, told us a little bit about this shot when we spoke to him this morning.

“The photograph is of a Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) rocket launching the AFSPC-6 mission for the United States Air Force,” he told us. It was taken at 18mm, 1/640, f/8, and ISO 200, settings Kraus decided on based on other night launches, photos he’s seen online, and recommendations from photography colleagues.

Beyond the settings, one of the most crucial bits was making sure the camera was ready to survive a day outside and the powerful rocket launch itself. Here’s his setup:


“The camera was placed roughly 75 yards away from the rocket and was staked down with tent stakes,” he explained. “Hand warmers were wrapped around the lens and secured with a rubber band to ensure the lens wouldn’t fog up in the middle of the night. The sound trigger was plugged in and turned on. A bag was placed over the camera, I cut a hole in it, and I was ready to go.”

And “go” he did. When the Delta IV fired up, the sound trigger did exactly what it was supposed to and Kraus captured the striking photo below:


A big thanks to John for sharing his settings and the story behind this killer photo. To see more of his work, be sure to check out his website and give him a follow on Instagram. There are a lot more cool rocket launch photos where this one came from…

Image credits: Photographs by John Kraus and used with permission.