Thursday, July 5, 2012
4th of July Fireworks photos
It was just about a perfect 4th of July (US Independence Day) celebration here. There was rain in the morning, which cooled the Phoenix desert down to the point that I could actually have the windows open for most of the day. The rain cleared up by late afternoon, when we went over to some friends' house for a cook-out. And then we went over to join the rest of the community for a traditional fireworks display, with live music. Friends, family, rocking music, hot dogs, ice cream, fire works...how can you go wrong?
For the past several years, I've been attempting to take photographs of the fire works. This year, I think I came pretty close to getting it right. I put my camera on a tripod. I used manual focus. I used a several second long shutter speed, with a mid-range f-stop. (I tweaked that now and again, so I can't tell you an exact setting.) And then I pointed the camera at the sky, waited until I saw the streaking spark of a firework heading upward, pushed the button, and hoped for the best while not touching the camera until the shot was done.
I edited the pictures in Photoshop. Most of these got cropped a bit. All of them had the contrast increased, probably the saturation bumped, and maybe sharpened a little bit. I think I got pretty close this time around.
Haven't I seen something similar to this next one on the cover of a Science Fiction book? If not, I should have.
I swear this one looks like a palm tree.
And I love how clear this next one turned out.
Some nice traditional blooms.
Big Bang Theory! I'm thinking this next one is what the beginning of the universe must have looked like. What a celebration that must have been!
Look at the smoke shadow in this one. Love it.
So...what do you think? Any tips for next year's efforts?