This past Sunday was Canada Day which, of course, means fireworks. My mom lives on the 12th floor of a building that just happens to overlook Riverside Park where the fireworks are set off. It has, naturally, become a tradition to gather the family there to watch the fireworks.
I was determined to get some proper photos the fireworks this year since, for the first time, I had all the equipment I should need: camera+lens, tripod, remote. Rather than just “spray and pray” at flickering lights in the sky, I did some research. I didn’t want to screw this up and have to wait a year to try again! This article from DPS was the most help with 10 distinct tips plus a bunch more from readers. There are several other good articles on the subject as well. Google is your friend.
To say that I’m pleased with the results would be an understatement. Throwing all modesty aside, I got some really great shots. Even better, though, I learned a ton and will be better prepared next year.
The photos are most interesting to me because they don’t represent at all what we actually saw. Take the photo on the left for example. We didn’t see all of the red, white, and blue elements all together. (My American wife loves that it’s red, white, & blue). We saw a white flash at the bottom, red streaks upwards, and then blue sparks at the top. We saw a sequence of colour and light. The camera captured the entire sequence in a single image with a 3-second exposure. I don’t think any of the three elements would have been particularly interesting on their own. Put together, however, they make for a striking image.
For the photo-geeks among us, this was shot at 28mm, f/20, 2.9 second exposure. I should also note, for those who drool over pricey lenses, that all of these images were shot through my fifteen-year-old 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G lens that I paid $25 for at a used camera shop. EXIF info for every shot is available on Flickr.
Here’s a slideshow of the full set of fireworks photos: