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.

Weekend Pics (First of Many?)

When I get back to work at the newspaper after a long weekend, I’ll typically make a new folder for my non-work pictures called “Weekend Pics,” or some variation on that theme. I had a few that I liked or had fun with this time, so I thought, “I’ll post some of these,” at least to show off / see if the subscription tab is working. Anyways, let me know what you think, that is, if anyone is reading this.

Meghan and I took a Friday evening road trip to Effingham, which kind of sucks, because when Effingham is the interesting place you go to on weekends, you must live somewhere kind of boring. Before going, Meghan wanted me to dress kind of nice and for some reason, she had a problem with what I decided to wear…

Yes, I am this cool. She made me lose the hat, the Hawaiian shirt and the socks/sandals combo.

After changing what I had on, we departed and got some nice pics on the way out of town, including some lovely reflections…

Off of a screen door's window on our house.

And in Meghan's Car windows.

This one was shot on the way out of town. I know it’s just a gas station, but I really like how everything comes together. This would be a candidate for setting up a tripod and doing an HDR shot. But we just stopped the car and shot the photo out the window.

Nice sky, huh.

In Effingham, we got some dinner at Friday’s which has WAY better service than the one in Oak Park. Then we enjoyed a little cosmic bowling at K-Bowl in Effingham. As I have described to my snickering coworkers, I enjoy bowling way more than my sub-100 scores would have you believe. On the way back to Flora, we stopped at Effingham’s big cross and got these two shots. ISO 200, just used a timer and let the camera rest on the trunk. I had a tripod with me, but meh.

Meghan said that it's holy, but I don't see any holes in it at all...

I’m sorry about that joke. Not sorry enough to stop making them though.

This is a Hardee's billboard. While it has less religious significance than the cross, they do make a decent burger.

And it was back to Flora for us for a nice night’s rest. Just kidding, the dogs wouldn’t shut up. Perils of pet ownership, eh.

Spooky. nicely decorated too.

So during my so-slow-it-hurts quest to go out and actually do things in Clay County, I took a nice step and went to a Halloween party hosted by Nita, who I’ve worked with on photo shoots, and her twin sister, Rita. Nita and Rita have done Halloween parties and haunted houses for years and invest a lot of work and time in their displays and figures. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.

Oh. And I realize we’re coming up on a month past Halloween, but that’s procrastinating for you. Now quick, before I find some thing easier to do, here are the images:

I shot these on my D70, at 1600, with a tripod. With that camera, up close, the noise and color on these aren’t wonderful, but going saturated and contrasty to cover some of that up suits the subject matter. On most of them I couldn’t really frame through the viewfinder, because that evening was pretty humid and my glasses kept fogging up. The pains of being a geek.

That's a plasma lamp for the old crone's crystal ball. The details made this such a cool haunted house.

That's a plasma lamp for the crone's crystal ball. The cool details made this haunted house.

That spider was at least ten feet across......Buddy.