Sunday, July 4, 2010


Happy Independence Day America!

So, our family went to a 4th of July celebration last night.  I made the attempt at taking pictures of fireworks but it was pretty difficult.  Unfortunately, the weather was a little dreary and a LOT windy.  I was also coming down with something, which didn't help much.

Shooting fireworks isn't usually that difficult.  Because you don't know what's coming up next, I always just keep shooting.  I set up the camera on a tripod and try my best not to let it move.  I use the wide angle lens so that I can catch as much of the sky as possible.  I also think about where I'm going to set up, as much as possible, before it gets dark so that I don't have trees, houses, or other obstacles in the way. 

These are some of the fireworks I shot a couple of years ago when I lived in Texas.

Remember that fireworks are just lights and that they are moving through the sky.  Which means, when it is windy, this happens as they are blown across the sky.

I LOVE the blue sky behind this one!  I just wish the fireworks themselves had turned out.

What I did was push the exposure button every time I heard one take off.  I took over 170 shots last night and only got about 3 that I really like.  Of course, they are going off so quickly, one right after another, I didn't have time to decide if this one is good before I shot the next one. 

I also set the dial mode to the "no flash" setting because it kept trying to flash on me.  I had to set the focus manually because it couldn't decide what to focus on.  I let the camera decide on the shutter speed.  Sometimes it was less than a second, and sometimes it was several seconds.  I decided to leave it up to the camera instead of trying to set it because I never knew which type of firework was coming next.

The pictures aren't necessarily bad, they just have the potential to be so much better.  That always leaves me somewhat disappointed.

What I like - The color of the sky!!  The clouds and the smoke from the fireworks combined with the long shutter speeds gave such a gorgeous color!  (These haven't been touched by any editing.)

What I don't like - There is nothing else in the picture.  Sure there's the top of a tree, but that's it.

I think next year I will spend a day or two scouting out places to shoot from that have interesting forgrounds and are a little farther away from the actual fireworks.  They are not as interesting to shoot when they are directly overhead.

And you spend the evening staring straight up... it hurts your neck!

I hope you all had a wonderful and safe 4th of July!

No comments: