Happy 4th of July!

I’m off to Michigan this morning for a long weekend. It’s actually the third week in a row that I won’t be in the office Thursday or Friday because of some sort of travel. I don’t know what I’m going to do next week when I’m actually in the office for five days – stir crazy!

Photo of the Day – Fireworks over Navy Pier

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This is the first time I’ve tried to shot fireworks – I went downtown last night and tried to compose the Navy Pier fireworks with the city in background. Unfortunately, to truly catch the city in the background it will take a boat. For my first try I’m pretty happy – I’ll try again in the future and will try to improve on a few things.

Here’s the advice (from varying articles) that I used for last night’s shoot:

1) Shoot in Manual Mode and manually focus to infinity
2) Shoot with an aperture of f/8.0
3) Shoot at the lowest ISO possible for your camera (on mine it was ISO of 100)
4) Utilize a shutter release so that you can manually time the exposures – here is the issue you have trying to let the camera expose:
a) The camera will expose for the darkness of your focal point (say 15 seconds or so)
b) If you leave the shutter open that long the fireworks will be completely washed out; therefore
c) It is imperative that you set the time manually at 3 – 6 seconds to capture the burst of the firework without losing the detail.

Things I think I can do better next time:

1) The buildings look a little blurry to me – not sure if they were like that when I was onsite and looking on the back of the camera. I did my best to determine my focus was good and thought I was in good shape but clearly something slipped leading to some fuzziness in those buildings.

2) Possibly a wider angle lens and just zoom in a bit – I felt this image was a little soft on the edges and it was completely ‘wide open’ at 18 mm. I have a 10 – 24 mm that would have allowed me to get a lot wider. My thoughts initially were that I was going to use the zoom on this lens (Tamron 18 mm – 270 mm) to get some detailed shots of the firework. I tried but outside of one shot was unable to predict where the fireworks were going to explode.

3) Bring headphones – I always, always get caught with randoms who want to chat my ear off. I’m all for talking but when I’m trying to focus on the task at hand I don’t need to hear about how high and drunk you are. Of course, it was capped off when he told me he had to drive all the way to Peoria (2 hours or so) after the 311 concert tonight (that he was late for). He did mention he was ‘sobering’ up as he smoked a joint in front of me….I guess it isn’t alcohol but still impaired in his ‘sober’ state.


3 thoughts on “Happy 4th of July!

  1. Fantastic job …. love the photo …. were was you standing – you can be very happy with this. I don’t think the buildings blurry … congratulations.

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