Early dawn, still very cold and foggy. Far away from the rest of the world, at the steppes of Kazakhstan. The sun has not yet peeped over the horizon but yet there already is some light. The fog is clearing but still there. Close by, long threads of thin white mist hover low above the frosty ground, but further away both the weak light of the morning and the thin fog just take away pretty much of the surroundings. In the distance there is the low rumble of a diesel engine. Slowly, an enormous shape looms up out of the fog. It is a Soyuz rocket, on its side, on a transporter on its way to Gagarin's Start. The steel wheels of the transporter calmly roll over the rails, while the welds in the tracks let the rocket produce sounds like a hollow metal cask, which it in fact is, still not fuelled and empty. Behind it, two flat cars to create some distance between the pointy white nose of the giant rocket and the green diesel locomotive, with its deep sounding, loud throbbing engine. The three piercing beams of its headlights shine a whimsical light on the rocket's body. Unhurriedly the train proceeds its slow trip through the awakening steppe to the bundle of metal masts and arms that seem to be sticking out of the ground in the distance. As the sun rises, and its first rays lighten up the scene, the grey rocket glows in the orange light and casts long shadows over the grassy fields. In a couple of hours the serenity will be shattered by the deafening crackle and roar of rocket engines.
Some more after the jump.
This morning I finished the diorama. I made good use of the cold morning light to make these shots. I held the framed diorama up to the window and made the shots with one hand. The silhouettes actually come quite close to the atmosphere I tried to describe in the kind of prosaic text above. The fog is made from pieces of fiberfill I tore apart. Perhaps it already is too light for "just before sunrise" but these photos aren't shopped in any way. maybe I'll take one to try to make it even darker and add that one later.
This is shot from the side of the rising sun. So there is some light colouring this side of the Soyuz.
Two top shots to show the actual situation...
...and lastly, a photo to get back a sense of scale. My fingers are resting on the frame.