This past weekend I was up with the Fam in Maine doing our traditional July 4th joy. A lot of fun to be had – the weather cooperated (not too hot, not too cold), we got some good time on boats and ate gobs of food.
Thursday night we went to Sanford, ME, as we usually do, and saw the fireworks show there, alongside probably 5000 other people all camped around a lake. As always, it was a great show.
This time I decided to try and photograph it. For the camera geeks, I used my 50mm lens, F-stop all the way open to 1.8. ISO was wobbling around, but I settled down to a very low 200. I was worried it wouldn’t be fast enough, but with a 1/15th second shutter speed, it worked out fine.
The gaping F-stop meant my depth of field was measured in feet, even 300ft away from my subject (the fireworks themselves). I could not autofocus for obvious reasons, so with a lot of experimentation, I found “All the way out, backed off about 10th of a turn” seemed to be the ‘sweet spot’ for focus.
As usual for these sorts of shoots, I shot a LOT. 320+ images for 1/2 hr show (filled my 1gig memory card). From that, I ended up with less than 50 useable images.
I may take a handful and postprocess further into a nice gallery, but this was a good first attempt. The one thing I didn’t expect was the reflection you can see in some of the brighter images. What I’m guessing it is is the image reflected onto the UV filter off my primary lens. I should have thought to remove that filter for such bright shots, but that’s the joy of experimenting, eh?