Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shooting fireworks, using Plan B

As I concluded in my previous post, it was not even dark yet -- I'd say there was at least another half-hour of daylight -- when organizers started setting off fireworks that concluded the annual "America, We Remember" patriotism observance Saturday at Garfield Park.

The show started earlier than expected because the musical entertainment -- the Eagles tribute band called 7 Bridges -- was pulled off the stage and the rest of its performance canceled because of the deafening thunderbolt that threatened the safety of everyone there.

I was walking back to my home, when it first hit me to maybe try and shoot the fireworks. But the first of them started before I got there. I didn't want to waste time going into my garage to dig out my tripod from the trunk of the car, so I decided this might be a good time to try something different. I knew I wouldn't be able to feature those neat long, feathery trails in my photos because to do that, you need a relatively slow shutter speed -- 2 to 4 seconds or so. I'd have to hand-hold the camera, which would require a fast shutter speed to ensure no motion blur. I selected 1/100.

So I found an interesting tree rising above the horizon in the vicinity of where the fireworks were appearing, and decided to try to juxtapose all of my shots with, within and/or around that tree ... then hope some of them would be worth the effort once I pulled them up in post-processing. I converted several of them into various monochrome versions, some at normal "look," others with enhanced contrast. Personally, I liked a few of those ... but again, I'll let you be the judge

Above and below: Monochrome and color versions of the same image. The smaller burst kind of gets lost in the black-and-white version.

Above and below: Monochrome and color versions of the same inamge.

Above and next three below: The same image -- first in color and then three variations of a monochrome treatment, playing with monotone and contrast.

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