Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fireworks: mission accomplished

A bonus for dropping in on the local observance of the Mexican Independence celebration Wednesday was the climax of the evening's program: fireworks.

Fireworks are something most photographers are eager to try their luck at early on. It wasn't that way with me for the longest time. Then, this past Labor Day weekend, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to rush over to Garfield Park in Indianapolis to see what I could come up with shooting the fireworks finale of the "America, We Remember" celebration of patriotism. It wasn't a very productive evening; in fact, I'm probably going to toss everything from the shoot. But then last week, when I heard that Wednesday's program for the Mexican Independence celebration would conclude with fireworks, I figured this would be my last shot of the year for redemption.

This time, I prepared. Checked some sources (and notes) on the best way to get good fireworks shots, got my camera settings adjusted (f/8, bulb mode, ISO-200) and locked into a tripod and attached a cable-release cord -- all before leaving the house -- and brought along a tiny flashlight to use to help myself adjust camera settings in the dark if I needed to.

I decided to concentrate on sky-only shots: no landscape backdrop, other than the corner of a tall tree in the bottom right portion of where the majority of fireworks were landing in the sky. I deliberately lightened the sky on one such image (first one below) so you would have an idea how the skyscape appeared in connection with the fireworks in the frames exposed normally. It explains, too, why some fireworks tails curiously disappear in the bottom right corner (because they drop behind the tree). It did provide for some interesting shapes, I thought.

The images you see here are from that shoot.

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