Kaboom 2: a retrospective

As I mentioned in my earlier fireworks post, I’ve taken a lot of good photos of fireworks and I’ve had a lot of good times.I might not have a lot of readers, but those who have been checking this out voiced a lot of praise for my fireworks pics, so here’s some more.

These are some of my absolute favorites. These may not all be my photos. Some of these, I was to busy lighting the fuses to take the pictures. Hehehe,

Flora's fireworks from July 4, 2006. My first fourth downstate.

A nice shot taken in a park in Chicago on the Northwest side. I love the guy in the foreground. As a visual element anyways.

One of my favorites that I've run in the newspaper. At Orchardville Church, south of Xenia, a few weeks prior to the 4th in 2010.

This was shot by my buddy Derek during one of Mark Lambird and my "Weekend After the 4th" fireworks show. This was our biggest show.

This was shot by my buddy Derek Anderson during one of Mark Lambird and my "Weekend After the 4th" fireworks show. This was our biggest show.

As I said, Derek came to see the biggest show Mark and I put on. The shots Derek got were more about the excitement of lighting the things though. He is a man that knows that excitement well. Here’s another example from the same night. For more of Derek’s work, check his blog here.

That's Mark running for dear life from a mortar he just lit. We had a 75 mm shell go off just above ground level – No injuries though...this time.

One of the coolest fireworks shots I’ve seen was by Mark himself. It was while I was in Chicago shooting the pic four above this and the one after this one. I swear this isn’t Photoshopped. Or rather, he swears this isn’t ‘shopped and I believe him.

Photo by Mark Lambird. Just a perspective thing: lightning in the distance, fireworks close up. Cool, huh?

Here’s the other one I shot in Chicago on that 4th. One of my favorites, overall.

That's how neighborhood fireworks work in Chicago. Everybody comes out to the park and blows up all the stuff they went to Inddiana or Wisconsin to buy. It was a real good time.

Here’s a favorite (Aren’t they all). It’s not regular fireworks, but an example of what happens when you tie 600 sparklers together and light them. Kids, don’t try this at home. Adults should probably be wary too…

Photo by Jens Deju. I'm just out of frame at the left with my jaw on the ground. That column of flame was around ten feet high.

Here's a photo illustration we did on firework safety. Real fuse, but we pulled the cracker out of it's housing. Burns are digital though.

Here's an old favorite of the fireworks show Mark and I did at his parents' house, I believe in 2006. The spectators may have been a bit close, we moved across the lake in subsequent years.

A good solid picture to end on. July 4, 2010, in Flora. Mix of long exposure with flash on the spectators in their chairs.

Thanks for reading. Now go blow something up! (Safely)


Flashes from the heavens

I felt like interrupting my fireworks pictures posts with something a little different, so here it is. Actually, this is really pretty similar. Same technique: Camera on tripod, open shutter and wait. This time though, there isn’t someone on the ground lighting the fireworks.

Shot in Flora just south of the ball fields.

That was probably my cleanest fireworks shot. This one is my favorite, but I’ve already featured it.

This one is near Southwire in Flora

This one is another favorite. There isn’t one dominant bolt, but there are tons of smaller ones. There may even be some cloud to cloud lightning, but I’m not sure. Anyways, thanks for checking it out. Next up, a look at my favorite fireworks shots. From a long career of setting things ablaze.

A new start, an older photo

Ok, so it’s not that old. I wanted to start strong. My reason for starting my photoblog is so that I can put my images up on a daily basis, but I feel that I need to lay some groundwork first. And that means older images. So….

Lightning strikes in the distance after a rain storm. Puddles are on the tarps, rolled out after the games were cancelled in the afternoon.

Lightning strikes in the distance after a rain storm. Puddles are on the tarps, rolled out after the games were cancelled in the afternoon.

Man, do I love lightning. I love fireworks too, and the technique is basically the same, but you know where and for the most part, when, the fireworks are going to be. Lightning is a little more difficult. This was one of the first images I shot after I started working in Flora. I shot it earlier in the day for a bit piece on the ball games being cancelled. I decided I wanted something better and came back at around 10 p.m. just after the storm had passed.

The Image is shot looking to the east. puddles in the foreground are on the tarps that they laid out to keep the field from getting soaked. I used my go-to camera, a Nikon D70. Exposure is about 20 seconds at f22 at iso 200. I used a tripod, of-course, with an umbrella (the rain kind) that was suspended above it by using two Bogen superclamps, one on the tripod column, connected with a spud to another on the umbrella. I’ve tried that setup again and realized it doesn’t work as well in the wind and switch to a less high-tech plastic bag with a hole for the lens, but it was calm that evening. I used an infrared remote to trip the shutter.

I have, as I said before, always loved lightning shots. I got lightning on film twice before this (funny I should phrase it that way, because on both of those occasions I was actually using film), but both times I was shooting through glass. Once was through a dorm window, the other was through a windshield in a moving car. Neither time did I really think of the images as successful. The time from the dorm room, the lightning strike was small and off-center and there was a reflection elsewhere on the image. The other time it was because, oh, I don’t know, I shot it through a freakin’ piece of slanted, tinted glass in a moving vehicle, hand-held for about 1/15 of a second and wide-open. The fact that it was a touch grainy was the least of my problems.

This image though, I think was successful. I’ve gotten cleaner lightning pictures with more detail in the strike since, but none I like better. Anyway, hope you like it.