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.