Fourth of July 2010, Asbury Park Boardwalk

Another Fourth of July, another fireworks display. This one was different for two reasons. First, I saw the largest crowd ever on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Second, I thought I’d try photographing fireworks for the first time. I learned a lot and had only partial success, so there’s much incentive to try it again.

I read up on techniques for fireworks photography, and it all made sense. Anticipating the large crowds, I didn’t bring my large tripod, but instead used a small tabletop tripod that I braced on the side of a building. I consider this method good for emergencies, but it severely limited my range. Next time I’ll figure out how to deal with the real tripod. Further, it didn’t leave me with a free hand to cover the lens with a card during a long exposure. What’s more, I didn’t have a card with me.

Still, I may have gotten some great shots if my camera hadn’t locked up long before the grand finale. I don’t know what happened. I thought it could have been a setting for long exposure noise reduction, but checking that setting revealed that it was turned off. I turned the camera off and on again. I even tried removing and reinstalling the battery, but the lens remained locked open. When it finally closed (I don’t remember what I did to achieve that) it was too late.

So there’s one nice photo above from the beginning of the fireworks. The photo below was taken beforehand as I was setting up and trying out the bulb setting, which keeps the lens open as long as I depress the shutter button. I know I couldn’t hold the camera still, so I didn’t even try. I think the photo is interesting. What do you think about it?

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