Fireworks 2020

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Last year, on July 4th, I had a bit of practice photographing some fireworks. These are not the “professional” kind, but rather, the kind you buy to shoot off in your yard. Well, not my yard, but someone’s yard.

At the time, I’d only had the D7500 for a month or two, and couple that with not having shot fireworks for a few years, I wasn’t expecting much. And truthfully, I had given these a curosry look and then got busy with house projects.

Tonight, I was writing all of last year’s photos and this year’s photos and videos to a CD to give to the owner of the fireworks yard, and I took the opportunity to really look at these.

You know what? They’re not half bad. And, by that, I mean both the fireworks and the photos.

I processed these in PureRaw and ran them through Luminar AI, but only for expediency (meaning, it takes less time to process 33 photos when all you have to do is a couple of clicks of the mouse)..

These first few were while the sky was still holding on to twilight, but in short order, the night took hold, and things only got better.

The show included some ground-based fireworks, but since I was shooting long exposures, they didn’t turn out as well.

This year, I shot mostly videos (using my Note 20 Ultra) and the opposite was true. The videos were great, but the photos were mostly a miss (probably due to the Note 20 Ultra’s shutter lag).

But, getting back to the photos . . . here’s a small gallery of the ones just before the big boys came out to play.

The advantage of the dark skies is that the light show is more impressive . . . the disadvantage is that you have to pre-focus the camera where you think the action will be because the camera won’t focus in complete darkness.

Without further delay, here are the big boys . . . split into three galleries of six photos each (more manageable for readers).

For them who don’t know, it’s best to have the camera on a tripod and setting the shutter speed at anywhere from five to ten seconds. Longer can work, but shorter means you have to guess when the explosion and light show happens, and it’s just easier giving yourself a longer margin of error.

These were all shot with a 5 sec. shutter speed at f/11 and ISO 100. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a tripod with me, so I propped up the D7500 on a chair and using a jacket to provide support at the proper angle. This is where the articulated screen came in handy because otherwise, I would have to have been a contortionist to look through the viewfinder. Oh, and I used a remote trigger to shoot the photos.

Edited to add: some were shot at 5 sec. some at 10 sec. Ten seconds may be a little too long because you might get two explosions that overlap. Sometimes that’s nice, other times it’s just confusing.

And here’s the finale . . .

It’s probably worth looking at the last one on its own (most people don’t bother scrolling through the galleries) . . .

As usual, you can see a slightly larger version by clicking on the single images (there’s also the option to see the larger version when scrolling through the gallery — but only if the little “i” is visible in the lower right corner of the gallery display, and sometimes, it’s not).

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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