As it turns out, shooting a rocket launch is more difficult than one might think. For starters, we were two miles away from the launch site. My best lens, the 80-200mm f/2.8 I use for concert work just wasn't going to cut it. Then you have the issue of it being perfectly dark outside, interrupted by the night becoming daylight for 5 seconds when the rocket motors ignited.
I was fortunate enough to borrow a 500mm reflex lens but even with that, I couldn't fill the frame as much as I wanted. As night wore on, and I waited for T-minus zero, the temperature dropped rapidly, causing condensation to form on everything, lens included. This caused problems, as you can see a halo around the image, and it's somewhat overexposed. That's because I didn't know what setting to use, so I made some educated guesses, talked with a few other people, and went from there. I don't feel too bad however, a number of people with far more experience than I got absolutely nothing but completely blown out images.
Anyway, I'm now hooked on rocket launches, and want to shoot another one.