One of the things on my photography bucket list has been get a good image of fireworks. And thanks to a good friend, we got to see some fireworks for a couple of weekends in a row, but each time was pretty much a flop on the part of the photographer. The first time I didn’t have a tripod (naïvely, I thought I might be able to shoot them without a tripod if I could find something to brace my camera on, like the hood of a car. I tried the arm of my chair with limited success, but overall the day was a fail photography-wise (but still we had FUN—thanks, Tony!!!!)). The second time my ever-patient husband took me: I got myself all set up with my tripod, but 15 minutes past the time they were supposed to begin, I gave up and decided they weren’t happening that night, and packed it all back into the car. Four minutes after that, the very short show began, and, flustered and rushing, I tried to get all set up but only got a couple half-way good images.
But they say the third time’s a charm, so this last weekend, we tried a new spot altogether (with no trees in the way and with a really good tripod–thanks, Ralph!), and SUCCESS!!!! We were super close (in fact, so close it was hard to zoom out enough with my lens!), with a completely unobstructed view. The show was spectacular (and the last show of the season!), and I got some shots I absolutely love!
(For the photography geeks reading this, I discovered that you can’t be lazy and forego the tripod, because the shutterspeed will be at least 5 seconds (and sometimes 10!) long. I set my ISO down to 100, and then closed up my aperture to between 16 and 22, depending on my SS. Then I took a shot and chimped, adjusting as needed. A zoom lens was helpful the first two times (I used my Tamron 28-300) because we were so far away, but the third day even 24mm was a bit closer than I’d have liked, but it still worked out all right. I used the 2-second timer to eliminate even the slight camera shake that might be caused by my pushing the shutter button, but a remote would have been even better so I could actually control when the shutter was tripped, depending on what I wanted to capture. And that was about it!)
Someday I’d love to find a place where I can get shots similar to this, but with water in the foreground that reflects the fireworks. Think that might be too tall an order? I hope not!