Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Look! Up in the sky...

Hope everyone's recovering from America's big birthday party yesterday. Two hundred and thirty-five years old and we barely look a day over 200. Especially when you look at some of the roads around here.


Anyway, instead of battling the traffic or the barbarian hoards on Metro yesterday, I decided to risk Mother Nature's fickle mood and ride my bike downtown for the firework on the Mall. Although I didn't go to the Mall, I'm sure it would have worked just as well. All told, about an hour of commuting (30 minutes up and 30 or so back).

Except for the idiots around Gravely Point who thought it was a great idea to let their little kids play on the path, it was relatively painless. I'm thinking the bike is the way to go for all things outdoors, in the evenings in D.C. (basically, Screen on the Green or jazz in the sculpture garden).

And, for the moment you've all been waiting for, the pictures. Unlike previous years when I shot from the Mall, this year I went to the other side of the display and made my pictures from the Virginia side of the Potomac down by the Lincoln Memorial. I have to say, the crowds were a lot less and you're a lot, a lot, closer to the fireworks. You can feel them explode and don't have to worry about the sweaty stranger next to you getting in your space. For those who are wondering about the technical aspects of the pictures, they were all shot at 100 ISO equivalent, an f/8 apeture and, generally speaking, 1.6 second shutter speed.


This picture shows one of the main reasons I decided to forgo the Mall - you get very few reflections off a mass of sweaty humanity.

I really, really liked these ground-bursting shells. Very cool effect.

More ground-bursts.

And, finally, I got a whole bunch of shots where this guy in the kayak slowly drifted through the frame. I kinda like it.

If you want more from the fireworks display, they're posted on my Flickr page.


J said...

Awesome shots!

The breeze must have been going eastward.. our view from the mall was somewhat obscured by a ton of smoke from the same 'works..

Anonymous said...

I didn't get to see fireworks yesterday, so this was my only chance. More than made up for it. Thanks for sharing!

suicide_blond said...

i may never watch them from anywhere but the river again..it was amazing as your shots clearly demonstrate ..whereas mine are awful! glad to see you got great shots...awe inspinring sometimes to live here...we are some lucky bastards arent we?? xoxo

Anonymous said...

beautiful pics as always!

FoggyDew said...

J - I learned that lesson last year, the smoke does tend to drift toward the capital. Makes for fuzzy pictures.

Phnx - I actually took about 300 pics, basically one every four seconds or so ... I could do you a flip book. (Just kidding, as with most night time pictures, many of them suck.)

blonde - It was so...non crowded, wasn't it? And the view is so, so, so much better. I just noticed your comment said "the river" rather than "the riverbank", were you on one of the boats?

mags - and, as always, thank you.

HK said...

Wow, these photos are amazing! The vantage point is great. Thanks for sharing, Austin fireworks were cancelled due to drought and wildfire danger - so your photos were a real treat.

Alice said...

SUCH gorgeous shots. love.

i watched from a friend's apartment in courthouse this year. the view was PERFECT, but it was just a liiiiittle too far away for me - i like feeling the booms of the cannon ones :)

FoggyDew said...

HK - Glad you enjoyed them, and sorry about the weather down there. I remember how hot it can get in Central Texas, but no fireworks on the Fourth is like no presents on Christmas.

Alice - I did that a couple of years ago when I lived on the Pike. Pretty, but no sound effects. I was close enough last night that I could feel the BOOMS!

Pauline said...

Beautiful images! The guy in the kayak really completes the last shot. He must have gotten a really good view too!

Mr. J said...

Fantastic photos. I think I know where I'm going to post up for next year's fireworks!

FoggyDew said...

Pauline - And he wasn't even the closest one, there was a "dinner cruise" boat between him and the shore. Oh, and Happy Canada Day!

Mr. J - It's a pretty good spot, views are good and the crowds are thin. But, as I was riding yesterday, I think I may have found an even better spot. However, to parapharase Brody from Jaws, "I"m gonna need a bigger lens."

Keenie Beanie said...

All these are great and I loved that second photo. Fireworks in DC are just so iconic.