Backyard Fireworks

My middle son purchased a box of fireworks to set off in the field behind our house. As soon as it stopped raining, he decided to head out through the wet grass in the dark with me and my tripod following behind. In my Fireworks Tutorial, I suggest that a flashlight is a useful item to bring along so that you can see your camera settings better and find black lens caps in the dark, etc. Of course, I didn’t bring a flashlight but otherwise followed all of my tutorial rules. I had never tried to photograph the backyard-style of fireworks before so this was a new experience for me. First difference between the backyard variety and the public displays is that you have no idea how high each of the shots will go. Since there tends to be only one of each kind of fireworks per box, you don’t get a second chance. This is what the box got us.

The first shot didn’t go very high so ended up looking more like a Star Wars light sabre than a fire works display.

So I moved in a lot closer! The next shot filled about half the frame so it is cropped here.

So I moved safely even closer! Of, course, the next shots were much better and I was beginning to think that I might have this backyard fireworks thing mastered 🙂

Of course, that meant that the next one would soar twice as high and go right off of the screen before displaying its real colours!

For the last shot, I moved in even closer and used my fish-eye lens, knowing that regardless of how high the shot went, the fish-eye would capture it.

Then my son set off some very small units that are designed to swirl around on the ground. We quickly learned that they don’t work too well in thick, wet grass!

On pavement, they swirled around a bit better but still tough to photograph.

If I figure out how to get these little ones better, then I will add something more to my Fireworks Tutorial. When it comes to photographing fireworks, though, I think I’ll stick to the large public fireworks displays. Had fun tonight, despite the wet feet. :-).

Tech: For these shots I set up with a manual 35 mm lens on a tripod with a remote release, camera set to manual and BULB and ISO 200 and f11.0. After that it was a bit of a circus trying to guess the height for framing purposes 🙂 and changed to a lower ISO after the first shots looked somewhat overexposed and as I moved in closer to the launch point.

About Ron

Ron has long had an interest in photography and traveling and, in recent years, has had more time to devote to both activities. Long a Pentax user, Ron switched to Nikon gear when he went digital. The advent of the digital SLR camera, and the ease of the internet blogging process, has provided a venue for sharing his photography and travel experience at the local, national and international level. More about Ron
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