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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]
Boom! Sparkle!

We could see two displays from our perch on the hillside over the dark circle of hills and water: the distant fire from a barge on the water, and the ones right overhead, being fired off by the people at the block party. (Actually, we could see at least two more dispalys, but they were so distant I didn't bother.)

This is looking out across the water, over the industrial district:

I have a whole bunch of pictures that look more or less like this, with variations. Some of them have fuzzy sunbursts of distant fireworks, some of them are darker, and the lights of the city are as a handful of stars. One of them depicts a rainbow sunset, red at the horizon to indigo overhead. Another, the loom of the sky is strung in blue and green and purple. I'd like to combine four of them to get an image of the city the way I remembered it, the sky just so, and the fireworks reflected on the water, and the inverted web of stars. But I haven't done that yet.

And here are the fireworks right overhead:

So.... xmurf? I admit it, you were right, they came out okay. Hrmph. It's amazing how many things one can do wrong and still get good pictures. Of fireworks, at least.

Current Mood: accomplished

OOOOOOH! AAAAAAH!! WOW! Nice work. I can almost smell the gunpowder. And the sunset is gorgeous. Mmmmmmmmm....

Oooooohhhh. Those came out *lovely*.

Very shiny. How did you take them? I'm curious about the process, as always.

  1. Decide you want to take pictures of fireworks, because you've never done it and it sounds interesting, and you'd like to know how.

  2. Ignore all the people telling you that taking pictures of fireworks is cliche to the point of not worth doing. Eventually start having fantasies about choking them with camera straps. :)

  3. Then do nothing until July 4th, when you go to a party on a nice high hill.

  4. Suddenly realize you have no night film. Rush to the Yuppie Grocery Store. Buy a disposable camera. Take it apart to get at the (obscure brand 800 speed) film inside it. A nice dark entry hall to use as an improvised darkroom is a plus here. So is having xmurf around.

  5. Go set up a tripod on a hill. Or try to. The tripod will develop some bizarre quantum resonance and refuse to open. Meanwhile, you will also notice you've forgotten your shutter release - a button on the end of a long cable that you use to push the shutter button on the camera without moving camera or tripod at all. Send xmurf back after it. Gnash your teeth at the gorgeous and fading sunset. Attempt a few pictures without the shutter release, holding your breath while you hold down the button, long exposured, between four and twelve seconds. Wonder if you're counting too fast. Count in Japanese to slow yourself down. This will earn you odd looks.

  6. Realize you did all those long exposures wrong, but you did them wrong in two ways that cancel eachother. Wonder if there is a patron saint of bumbling photographers.

  7. When you get your shutter release, screw it onto the camera. Take two correct pictures of the sunset - at least, you think they are correct. (I'll post the images I got from these when I get home - they're pretty, but not at all what I wanted.)

  8. Decide that all this tripod-long exposure-shutter release stuff for fireworks all the way over there isn't working, since you don't have a zoom lens. Decide to shoot the simple fireworks going off right overhead, instead.

  9. Laugh.

  10. Take the camera off the tripod. Unscrew the shutter release. Set it to the slowest speed you know your hands are steady for (in my case, 1/30 of a second), and the largest aperture (2.8). Point it at fireworks. Push the button when it looks pretty. Decide this is much funner, anyway. Ooooh and Aaaah a lot.

  11. Get your pictures back from the film place. Be astounded they look good.

I'll post the two mistakes from step #7 when I get home.
Overall, I made a lot of mistakes, tried a lot of wierd things, and somehow miraculously got good results. Most of my photography is like that. I think the reason photography appeals to me is how much I learn, how strange and wonderfult hings come out sometimes.

Here they are:

They're far too light, and the colors are odd.I think they're pretty anyway, just... not fireworks at 11PM on the fourth of July. The space needle blowing up at dawn, maybe.

wow, these are the best!!! this totally made my week.

thanks for sharing! :)


Beautiful pictures... thanks for posting them! I love to see new places...

Might be heading out that way one of these days, though... :)

Lovely pictures. Much better to enjoy the sparkles without the loud booming noises, but that's my own opinion. =)