View Full Version : Explosive results ...

07-04-2007, 12:51 PM
Well, despite the weather remaining out of control (man, what's going on in the States, these days ... unbelievable heat in the West next to Noah's ark action in Texas!), the Chicago-area has been pretty much spared from such nonsense.

Anyway, last night the rains edged in and nearly wiped out the fireworks display in Park Ridge and other communities. Fortunately, they got them done, despite Mom Nature's arousal.

Armed with the SONY A100 and the TAMRON AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF), I went to work sitting in a chair, on the rear deck of my Avalanche, tripod mounted and aiming skyward.

Just as the display began ... a raindrop on my arm ... then another to the forehead ... and another. "Honey! Where's umbrella? I think we're in trouble ..."

Well, it was only a smattering, at that point ... but as the display came to an end ... it's a three hour continuous shower. Not a downpour, but you would be poorer caught in it.

Anyway ... the shots turned out a bit awkwardly, fighting the wind against the shelter of the umbrella, over the rig, and trying to zero in, with a decent zoom-rate, on where the next detonation would occur. Many shots were useless, due to the sheer speed of trying to catch the timing of the detonation ... others ... remarkable.

One of my favorites:


Settings: 40mm - f/4.5 - 0.6 sec. - ISO-200 - WB 3200 - Manual Mode - tripod - remote release

There are differing opinions about how to catch these explosions ... some go with a second or more, but I how found dramatic results with less than a second.


Settings: 28mm - f/4.5 - 0.5 sec. - ISO-200 - WB 3200 - Manual Mode - tripod - remote release

Reviewing the statistics, I found that just having a 17-50mm lens would have worked beautifully in this instance. Anything more was too limiting and I was a good third of a mile away from the rocket's red (blue, green, purple, white) glare.

I'm kind of glad I didn't use the Canon EOS 20D & the 70-200mm ... way too much lens! I'll remount the TAMRON SP AF28-75mm f/2.8 XR DI LD on the Canon for tonight's festival display in Des Plaines ... but the rains are closing in ... once again. Besides, that combination is a lot lighter to swing around than the 70-200 is. :eek:

07-05-2007, 05:48 AM
i'm quite jealous you had a tripod for your fireworks, i was with a bunch of friends and had no place to put my camera down amongst the festivities, but here's the best of the handhelds anyway.

07-05-2007, 06:05 AM
Nice coloratrion on that building .... definately creates a color contrast for your image. In other words: I'm likin' it. :D

For events like this, I usually carry the ol' tripod ... even though it's pain of sorts. I also tote one of those folding bag chairs ... because it kind of stakes a claim to an area and people in the crowd tend to walk around you more ... and not kick at the tripod's feet. Also, your can get lower on the tripod, when viewing, not having to fully extend the three feet to their "full and upright position." :)

Both the tripod and the chair can be easily lashed to my backpack, allowing a lot more "tote-ability" to the entire rig, that a normal shoulder-slung camera case with loops just does not.

I figure if you're stuck behind a tripod ... get comfortable. :p :)

Hope your holiday was fun! :D