Sunday, July 5, 2009

What Makes Fireworks Special?

I can gauge my progress in photography by simply reviewing the fireworks photographs I take every year. While Independence day provides a great opportunity to shoot, you only get one chance a year, and only minutes at that.

(Taken at lake Murry La Mesa, CA 2009)

Of course, after the grand finale, on the drive to Denny's, all of the things I "Should" have done start to creep up in my mind. This time, in a brilliant flash (like fire works) it dawned on me that I should have used more then one camera.

(Taken at lake Murry, La Mesa, CA 2009)

Digital cameras require processing time when using a long shutter, so a 10 second shutter becomes 20 seconds down time. A second camera could have been used to capture, while the first one was processing the image. I think to myself, BRILLIANT! Sadly, I have 364 days before I can try this idea.

(Taken at lake Murry, la Mesa CA 2009)

This year, I have a newer tool that I feel no photographer should be without. My GPS once again proved it's usefulness, allowing us to leave the house only 30 minutes before the fireworks started, and find a great location. In addition, we had the freedom to take the road less traveled to get home (to avoid the traffic) with no fear of getting lost. GPS gives me the freedom to explore unfamiliar territory, with no fear of losing direction or getting lost. Being able to see the lake on the screen, and knowing I'm only a few yards away made life easier. It was a very nice bonus to view my photos at the Denny's on the GPS's five inch screen.
(While this may appear to be a couple of flowers at first, a closer inspection reveales the subjects as fire works. Taken at Lake Murry, La Mesa, CA 2009)

One should not discount the meaning of Independence day, and how it directly applies to the art and profession of photography. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the Freedom of speech, and that cannot be appreciated enough, as a picture is worth a thousand words (Fred R. Barnard). Thankfully, we are free to express those thousand words, and a million more.
(Notice how the blue lines cross to make a sort of grid)
(Taken at Lake Murry, La Mesa CA 2009)

I hope Independence day was enjoyed by all this year, despite the many current challenges we have faced over this last year.


About the images shown: These photographs were all taken July fourth, 2009. ISO 80, shutter speeds varied from 8 to 15 (8"-15") seconds, Aperture F8.0. Auto focus was disabled to save time, manual focus was set to infinity. A circular polarizing filter was used. And, of course, a tripod (from the trunk of my car).

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1 comment:

  1. There is always New Year's to catch an extra chance at fireworks shots! These look great!