In case this means anything to you…..

July 8th, 2008

Holy smokes, thank you everyone, for your kind words about my fireworks pictures!!

I was really pleased with how they turned out, because (for once in my life!) I actually switched my camera to manual mode and experimented with different settings to take them.

And in case these values mean anything to you, here they are…..

(Oh, and I didn’t actually use a tripod.  I knew it would be futile and frustrating, since the location of the fireworks were never consistent–so I just held the camera as I sat in my camping chair and tried to hold reeeeeally still).

_ICT0015 edited

Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D
Exposure: 25 sec
Aperture: f/9
Focal Length: 28 mm
ISO Speed: 100

This was one of the first pictures I took, and as you can see, over 42 lifetimes elapsed before the picture was finally done taking.

And by the end of this monstrously long picture–I wanted to poke both my eyes out with the nearest flaming firework.

So, I increased the shutter speed to an ISO of 400 (and changed the aperture to f/8 to try to compensate for the faster shutter speed), which saved my poor eyes from certain blindness.

_ICT0031 edited
Exposure: 3.2 sec
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 35 mm
ISO Speed: 400

Oh, and for some reason my camera couldn’t auto focus, so I had to switch it to manual focus.

I have no idea how to manual focus (especially in the dark!), so I just twisted the lens, stared through the viewfinder into the pitch black night and thought, “Hm…  Yep.  The black looks like it’s in focus now.”

And I hoped for the best. :)

_ICT0042 edited
Exposure: 6 sec
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 400

And I just noticed that the “Focal Length” is different on all these pictures.

I have no idea what “Focal Length” actually is.

Is that the focus?

_ICT0028 edited
Exposure: 2 sec
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 400

I loved this picture of the three brave souls holding fireworks in their hands.

I think this was right after a huge firework malfunctioned and exploded at ground level–straight into us unsuspecting onlookers.

It scared the begeebers out of me and I shot out of my chair and started running away.

Fortunately, none of us were hurt and no houses burned down.

But it still gave me a healthy respect for explosives.

And a healthy fear of holding them in my hand.

At the level of my own face.

_ICT0022 edited
Exposure: 4 sec
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 26 mm
ISO Speed: 400

Oh!  And I got my starting point from the Pioneer Woman’s tips on shooting fireworks.

Which I found very helpful and gave me the confidence to try something new.

And now I’m glad I did, because overall, it was a fun little adventure. :)

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3 Comments

Kara | 7/9/2008 8:22 am

These kind of posts always make me realize what a lousy camera I have. Someday I’ll get a good one! Then I’ll have to figure out how to use it!

 
tearese | 7/9/2008 4:46 pm

our city’s fireworks were on the 3rd, so I read PW after the fact! Yeah, your camera can’t auto focus in the dark because it can’t “See” anything. Thats why I’m not sure mine could even do fireworks pics, because I can’t manually adjust the lens. I heard that if you focus on infinity (the farthest away) it can catch most sky fireworks. Good job!

 
Wandering Nana-Linda | 7/9/2008 10:09 pm

Mark said he has a book and will look up the meaning of focal…… and let you know. Great pictures.

 

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