Sunday, July 18, 2010

By the rocket's white glare

Arva, ON
July 2010
[Click photo to embiggen]

Few things evoke summer more powerfully than fireworks. So when our friends invited a bunch of folks over to celebrate Canada Day with some aerial explosives, it was an easy decision to make.

Before the first one was lit, I staked out a spot in the grass not too far from Ground Zero. I lay down in the darkened stretch and pre-set the camera as best I could (I've shot fireworks before - click here for that - and it was just as much of a crapshoot then as it was now.) My technique was simple: brace against the ground, get myself into a very still, Zen-like state, use long shutter speeds and other exposure variations, then hope for a few keepers.

This one struck me as soon as I saw it on the screen. I'm a bit of a spaceflight addict, and the y-shaped image with stuff zipping out and down from the right somewhat (okay, loosely) reminded me of the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Perhaps I'm imagining it. Regardless, it was a great evening with great friends. And a great shoot with some memorable results. I'll post more if you wish.

Your turn: Why do you believe we're so fascinated by fireworks?


kenju said...

I think we are fascinated by the patterns they form, the colors and the element of magic in their bursts!
That one is a very interesting pattern.

Mojo said...

On a personal level, I'm attracted to the light and color. On a more esoteric level I think perhaps the Hindu's might have hit on something when they use them during the festival of Diwali (the festival of lights) to represent the victory of light over darkness.

Plus, as a photographer, how could I resist something so grand?

I love this shot, but it reminds me more of lightning than a re-entry vehicle. Whatever it reminds you of, it's cool!

PS: I generally go for a tripod and remote for fireworks shots. Start at f/8-ish and about 1/4 to 1/8 second and adjust as needed. But even after hundreds of shots it's still -- as you say -- a crapshoot. I call it a good night if I get a 1% or 2% "keeper ratio".