I've had the upcoming fireworks on the brain. I've been thinking about how last year went, what I might try this year, and what I should do to make the most of it.
When last year was approaching I was kicking myself because all my decent DC fireworks shots (very few or none) were posted and used already. So I knew I'd probably take tons in 2009 and have at least one to use that was fresh and different to lead in to this year's 4th of July Celebration in the Nation's Capital.
Last year (above) was the first year I took the 4th fireworks in DC seriously and set out on a mission to photograph the event.
I went super early and made an entire day of it. This year I want to do something similar but better and different. I liked the view from the VA side of the river, but a review of images from a minute ago and nothing is tight enough, way too much empty space and everything had to be cropped.
What worked was the monuments - to set the location and day in to context.
This year I'm trying to come up with a new plan. I might go over to the DC side, but I don't want to be so close that I can't get at least one monument. I am also thinking about going up towards the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Are folks as psyched as me for the 4th and taking photos?
There are lots of guides and tips out there - briefly: use a tripod, mirror delay, cable release, 2 or 3 second shutter speed, take photos continuously (it ends very quickly), manual focus, ~f/8 for some DoF and if you're in the DC area you probably should get to the spot at least a few hours early, probably more.
Any one have a good spot to recommend? Maybe something high up like a rooftop or somewhere else unique? (if it is a secret, email me)
Here are a few more detailed tips in case you're in need of a little help. It took me a couple of tries to get the right approach and get the shots I got last year.
Fireworks Photography Tips
Exposure 1.6 seconds
Focal Length 48 mm
ISO Speed 100
That's it for this year and planning - unless I think of a new one before it is too late. Good luck and don't forget the tripod or the camera/lens mounting plate!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010