05 July 2011

firework photos

Days ago, I drove all around town, seeking out the perfect spot. I knew I wanted to capture firework bursts from as close to eye level as possible, so I drove along the bluff looking for any spot big enough to park my car and set up my tripod. There weren't many, as nearly every inch of the bluff is private residential property. (Understandably so—it is a beautiful view.)

I thought I had found the perfect spot. But as I was looking through other photographer's firework photos for inspiration, I realized that I really wanted the Hood River bridge in my photos for interest, and I couldn't see the bridge from the spot I chose. So I was back to square one on the morning of the fourth. Hubs and I did some more scouting around, and we ended up in a great spot, though it was a bit crowded. I squeezed myself and my tripod in and stood in some tall grass at the edge of a parking lot for an hour shooting, hoping every minute that I didn't have ticks crawling up my legs.

Waiting for the show to start was agonizing. But I did get to play around a little with some post-sunset shots.
When the show started, I started clicking and didn't stop until the last burst had fallen. I used a manual shutter speed, which means I opened and closed the shutter at my discretion with my wireless remote. I opened the shutter as the firework launched from the mortar and closed it after the burst almost completely disappeared. (Other settings: ISO 200, f/8, manual focus at infinity.) I ended up with 140 shots. Some duds, but so many fun ones that it was hard to choose a couple to post here. I had so much fun trying to capture these beauties.
Did you try any firework photos last night? Leave a link in the comments. I'd love to see!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe celebration.


~Shari said...

Well it certainly looks to me like all the time it took to find your perfect spot - paid off in full!

Really - spectacular photos!!

seen at
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jamsmom said...

WOW!! that is amazing! I was so sad that we weren't allowed to have fireworks...I wanted to try out my camera, but I'm sure they wouldn't have been as awesome as yours!

Team Lando said...

Those are beautiful! (My firework photos didn't turn out nearly as well, but I still posted a few.) The time you spent hunting down your spot was 100% worthwhile!

Cyndi said...

Spectacular!!! Great job and definatly postcard worthy, shows so much of our beautiful gorge. did the kiddo's enjoy as well?

jamsmom said...

oooh, I just saw your breads...so cute! I did parfaits and the kids loved them. Disney...that would be awesome-I dunno that I'll be able to afford that with my 4 little princesses, but if I do get there, my husband is going to have to keep a good eye on them while I try for those fireworks shots!!

Team Lando said...

PS. Thanks for the firework tips... Unfortunately, it wasn't the need to angle up, it was the need to get above the railing on the roof, the crowd, etc. I should just get a tripod... someday! (Or just show up earlier next year!)

Rachel Eve said...

I missed fireworks this year, and your pictures make me feel a little better..they are awesome! I LOVE the spot you found! What an awesome angle of the city and fireworks!

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