Video Tip: Film it going up... And the results... (Skip the decent...)
I've seen a number of videos that look like they were a lot of fun, except for an annoying little problem... Locked off cameras.
Sure it's cool to see the jet of flame in slow-mo, and hear the sound of a rocket launching, but please people, track the rocket with another camera. If you don't have a 2nd (or 3rd) camera, invite the neighbors, or pull out a cell phone. a GoPro on the head is cool... Let us see what you are looking at, instead of smoke clearing the pad. I mean really, who launches rockets and only watches it lift off, and then impact the ground (or get caught).
One of my favorite episodes of Mythbusters has waterheaters blowing sky high through roofs, but they locked off the camera, so you see the launch, you see the crash, but you don't see things as they fly (reach apogee, then fall back to earth). The flying manhole covers is another great example. A terrible loss of potential footage.
And you don't have to show the entire decent, unless there's something really cool about it (say, passing a bird, or low flying RC plane, or getting a clear view of some landmark...). Save that time for showing the rocket "in situ" and as you proudly (or if it didn't go well, in horror) recover it from it's landing site.
Prime example... There are currently only 3 videos of the Estes Venus Probe out there on YouTube that I could find. One shows a lawn dart, another nearly lawn darts, and the 3rd is a D powered flight. Not one of them clearly shows the lander (with the surprise guest) in his landing position. That rocket's recovery BEGS to see the results, that is the entire purpose of that particular rocket, not the decent, it's the recovery that matters.
Your viewing audience will thank you for it.
I'm planning on placing a piece of paper or a small dry erase board with launch data at the foot of my launcher when launching video rockets... Wouldn't it be nice to know where, when, and what engine you were using when your footage was taken? This could work where audio may be a problem.
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