This was a shot in the dark. There were so many unknowns. Where would the rocket be rising over the mountains? How loud would it be? How fast would it move? How big would it be? Which direction would it be going?
I had some good guesses for some of those. If you look at the video, my eyeballing of the map and directions said “over that white barn with the brown roof out there.” It actually came up directly over that telephone pole to the left of the white barn.
I had my iPhone set as wide as possible in order to increase the odds of catching the rocket – but that also means that when it did, the rocket was just a dot. If I had been actively controlling the video recording, I could have done much better, zoomed in, etc. Next time.
It was windy out there. You’ll hear a LOT of wind noise, and I don’t know if anyone makes a wind sock to slip over the bottom (i.e., the microphone end) of an iPhone 13. Probably should Google that, they probably do. Or I should probably make one, patent it, and get rich.
If you can zoom in to see portions of the video, do so. You can actually see the rocket pretty well since this is a high-definition video. I’ve also got some reasonably fancy video software that I’ve never used that says it can do that and give me a video output of that – we’ll see how my learning curve goes. But not tonight.
Through the wind noise, in the background you can hear the launch comms (the guys in the foreground had a radio) and you’ll hear “Engine start,” then “Liftoff,” then at 0:24 you’ll hear people say “There it is!”
At about 0:37 you can start to see the rocket as a glint, heading straight up from that telephone pole toward the sun, and at about 0:47 you start to hear the roar of the engines.
At about 1:18 you see a vapor condensation trail start to appear just to the right of the sun and you can really start to hear the “ripping” sound from the engines.
At 1:48 the vapor trail stops but you can still see the dot of light from the engines as the rocket starts to pitch over to the left, headed south over the Pacific Ocean.
I gave the camera a nudge to the left to keep tracking it at about 2:00, and you can follow that dot all the way to the left edge of the frame, about the time you hear a helicopter go by at 2:39.
The vapor trail starts to drift, down at the bottom you see a cloud of exhaust start to rise from the pad, over the hill, and there’s a ton of wind noise as the video wraps up.
A lot of room for improvement, but it doesn’t suck for a shot in the dark.