Photographing fireworks isn’t considered serious photography. The main ingredient is luck. The rest is pretty simple: low ISO, bulb setting on the shutter, and tripod. In college, they told us it was one of those things we did in high school because we thought it was cool. Well, dumb or no, I still think it’s cool enough to attempt it once a year. After all, I’m going to the show anyway. Might as well try my hand at photographing it. Here’s the luck I had this year:
Next Time: Car Show
I just barely squished a trip to the fireworks into my 4th of July weekend. Since it was quite possible that my schedule for the next month or more would be tighter than usual, I decided to wait and post them as a regular post rather than a special 4th of July edition that weekend.
When it comes to photographing fireworks, just like many things in life, there is more than one school of thought. The way I originally learned involves very long shutter speeds where the light is entirely in trails. This allows me to have all the colors produced and include several bursts in one shot at the small town show I attend. The other method is to use a much shorter shutter speed and capture a lot of the sparkle we know fireworks for. This makes timing trickier. It also makes it more difficult to get multiple blasts in frame at smaller shows that are more likely to send one up at a time. Personally, I also tend to capture more smoke when I have shorter shots with a higher ISO. But sparkle is part of the fireworks, so this year, I experimented with getting a few of the blasts cut short a bit so I’d have some more.
Next Time: Change and Archive
Well, it’s happening. I’m going to be rather occupied with other matters for the next month. A necessary pain to accomplish a much desired end. I will probably post some archive material that I’ve shot in the past few years and never posted. Who knows, I may even go back to college stuff. Anyway, squirrels will most likely figure in the mix somewhere. Maybe I’ll post my college photo contest finalist shot too.
Happy Labor Day, otherwise known as the cultural end of Summer in the northern United States. Here are a few photos of Summer wildflowers I shot a few weeks ago. Before you know it, I’ll be posting fall scenery.
Next Time: Either portrait, otherworldly, or abstract. I haven’t made up my mind yet.
I’m working on a video project right now, so I’m sharing a few photos from my scouting trip to a nearby state park. This park is known for a major river and some large rock formation. Unfortunately, the trees and the way the steps on the trail were arranged made getting a good shot of the rock formations difficult. Light wasn’t the best either. We were warned to watch for snakes, but the only biting animals we found were mosquitos. Lot and lots of mosquitos. I had bug spray on, and I could still feel them crawling all over me when I ran my fingers through my hair. I could hardly stop moving long enough to take a photo before they became unbearable. Walking fast didn’t completely shake them by any means, but it helped a little. There were some nice sections of the park, but Dad and I decided we would wait until after a killing frost to return. Less vegetation, fall color, and fewer mosquitos would be better.
I went for a walk in the woods last week and found the bees swarming over the late summer blossoms. Although I’m just as afraid of bees as the next person, the prospect of getting a good shot becomes more important to me when I have a camera in my hands. Enjoy the last week or so of summer!
Next Time: Plants on White or Tools
I might uproot/cutoff some remaining plants and bring them indoors to shoot them on white under more controlled conditions. Either that or I’ll take a close look at hand tools.
Last week, I loaded up my gear and headed to one of the most acclaimed state parks within reasonable driving distance. Since it was such a nice day, my father and his gear also came along for the ride. We quickly decided this park was way too busy for us. Both of us are used to going out in parks where we only pass a few hikers here and there. Not so at this park. There was a constant stream of people from every ethnic group and age group you could imagine. The sights were amazing, but the morning sun wasn’t flattering anything. I took a few shots of the rock formations and we moved on.
In one canyon, there was a hanging vine illuminated by a ray of sunlight. I saw a photo I wanted, but it was dark and the vine was moving in a gentle breeze. The ISO on this shot was much higher than I’d normally use, but this is the closest I was able to get to the shot I wanted.
Unfortunately, our lack of familiarity with the park and a crowded parking lot resulted in us spending a lot of time trying to find the correct parking lot and our car so we could do something about water and food. We were pretty exhausted when we finally found the car, being that we’d hiked quite a distance on steep trails, dad had spent the last night working on the lawnmower, and I was carrying about 15 lbs. of gear. (Since he is a view camera guy, dad had left his equipment in the car until he found a shot with good lighting.)
After lunch, it was overcast. I decided that would make better lighting conditions for one of the waterfalls than what we’d seen in the morning. Dad still wasn’t sure it would work for him, but we agreed to head for the nearest waterfall and check it out. I took a few shots in the overcast lighting. Dad considered how the coming summer solstice would impact lighting and at what time of day he’d be likely to get the best shot. Yes, I think we’ll be coming to this park again, maybe after school is back in session and not so many families are out on vacation.
Next Time: Fruit in Bubbly
I’ve been thinking about trying the fruit in club soda thing lately, so I may as well actually do it.
A small town I live near had a car show a while back. Since I had so much fun photographing car details at a cruise night last fall, I decided to go check it out. There weren’t many cars, and some of the trucks were quite new. Despite the small numbers, I still found some interesting shots. I was particularly excited to see an old Monte Carlo. My mom had one when I was little, but hers was much newer. Overall, it was well worth going out in the heat for.
Next Time: Old 8mm Camera