Monday, July 5, 2010

Fireworks!! Ohh!! Ahh!!

Happy Day After Birthday America! Or, as we like to call it around here: Fireworks Picture Day!!

I have to say, Sunday's fireworks show was pretty good. It was the first time I've been on the Mall for fireworks since New Years 2000. You remember, the night everyone thought the whole world was going to Hell in a hand basket as the computers began to misbehave because the human programers never taught them to recognize the year 2000.

"It was a bug Dave."

Also, the Washington Monument was still wrapped in its sleek and sexy scaffolding as they spruced the old boy up.

Anyway, I hit the Mall last night for the fireworks and had my "America, Hell Yeah!" levels topped off for the coming year.

But, before we get on to the pretty pictures from last night, a cautionary warning to photographers everywhere: When the finale comes remember to lower your shutter speed or crank down your aperture or you'll get pictures like these:

OK, the second one's not that bad. But still, with all the light they're throwing up in the sky, (caution, technical details ahead) 2 seconds at f8 with a 100 ISO is too much. You'll end up with very bright pictures. You gotta stop it down in some way and, after further review, I'd recommend stopping down either one or two stops.

One other little thing I discovered: People don't sit down for the show so be prepared to have some heads in the shot. Once you set up, that's it. With all the people around you have to choose your spot and stick with it. Even if the people in front of you insist on holding up their iPhones as they try, fruitlessly, to record the show.

And now for the rest of the show. These aren't in order, but they're pretty close. They're all clickable if you want to see them real big. For more, check out my Flickr page (I hope I'm doing this right.) I especially liked the way the sky went from a grayish-blue and orangy sunset color to start with, to inky black all in the space of about 15 minutes.

The only bad part about fireworks? You only really get them once a year. I'll just have to remember all of this for next year. Enjoy the rest of your long weekend.


hannah said...

Kevin, INCREDIBLE photos! Through a series of coincidences, changing travel plans, and overseas assignments, I've never been to a 4th in DC, and I'm sad about this.

As an aside, if I give you a budget, can you tell me the best camera + lens set up to buy? =D

magnolia said...

pretty! these are fabulous pictures. i didn't go into the district this year (read: i was drinking at a party in arlington and didn't want to leave), but we went to iwo jima last year. that was a nice vantage point for everything.

the last year i did the mall for fireworks was 2001. it was a little different then, to say the least...

FoggyDew said...

hannah - That is a strange twist of fate. But I'm guessing y'all gave a good show over there.

mags - Next year I think I want to be on the Arlington side of the river so I can get that great shot of the Lincoln, Washington and Capitol all lined up.

Pauline said...

Great shots! I particularly like the one with the multicoloured fireworks next to the monument!

FoggyDew said...

Pauline - I think you're gonna have to be more specific...but thanks!

Sujong said...

Brilliant pics! I hope you had a great holiday weekend!

Pauline said...

LOL! Sorry, I tried to comment again but it ate my comment!

I meant the 8th one down from the top! :)