The – belated – Fourth of July 2013 post

posted in Photography on Aug 15, 2013

Sometimes you take a ton of photos, forget to edit and post them, and then wait about a month before remembering about them until you are about to from your hard drive to an external storage device. Maybe that happened with these Fourth of July photos, and maybe it didn’t. But I do know that I am posting them now!

Like last year, we were back over at the Jefferson Memorial to watch the goings on of Washington D.C.’s Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza.

Getting to the Jefferson Memorial was, like last year, an affair that included a couple of security checks and wading through multitudes of people. After a person stuck a clear plastic stick into my camera bag to ensure that I had to devices of mass destruction, I was able to get the second and third shots above. The 4th on the Mall is pretty neat because the streets that usually are humming with activity are shut down, and you can walk freely about without waiting for lights.

In these first shots I tried to get the Washington Monument in the image as well as the fireworks. I always forget how far away the fireworks actually shoot off from the monument, though, and my zoom lens (18-135mm) doesn’t have a wide enough angle to capture both really well. OH WELL. #firstworldphotographyproblems

There was a couple next to me with Canon 1D’s sporting giant lenses that made me feel woefully inadequate, but I was able to persevere, somehow.

Little jellyfish

After a while, with a ton of trial and error to get the correct shutter speed (I settled on something between 10 and 15 seconds per firework, if I recall), I refocused on getting some closer shots of the boom-booms.

One last bang

This shot above is one of my favorites. I ended up with quite a few shots of the event, but not a whole lot of usable images. Having to refocus at night to a dark horizon is not one of my strong suits just yet, and several of my images just came out a little to blurry to do anything with. But I do like these photos that I was able to keep. Fireworks are challenging to shoot because they don’t happen often enough to get a ton of practice with. I know kind of what I am doing, but I do hope to get more opportunities to shoot such things.

The smoke afterwards

While we waited for the people to clear out a bit, I snapped a few shots of the remaining smoke cloud that descended slowly on the Mall. It came out all right.

Overall my D.C. fireworks experience was fun. 10/10 would photograph again.

Side story: somehow I was able to trap a spider in my lens cap that night. I few days later, the next time I was going to use my camera, I opened it to find a spider husk and a stick, webby mess all over my lens. And here’s the weird part: I was getting my camera out to take a photo of another spider. COINCIDENCE? Yes.