I spent most of Monday in Cairo with a production company that is doing a documentary on the town. They had seen my photos of Cairo, wanted to use some of them and wanted to interview me roaming around town shooting more pictures. Nice folks. I’ll post some stuff later, but I don’t have time to do it tonight. This is the last Fourth of July photo I’m going to run until next year, I promise.
Photo tips for shooting fireworks
My fancy Nikon strobe needed new batteries and I was too lazy to go in the house to get new ones, so I put the Nikon D40 in full auto mode so it would use its built-in flash for this photo. The little flash did a pretty good job of lighting Mother. The color balance isn’t bad and the short blast of light stopped the action and produced a reasonably sharp photo.
DULL and sharp
And, that’s the problem. It’s DULL and sharp.
The photo at the top of page is technically flawed because I wasn’t using a flash that offered more controls, but it’s a good start. Here’s how I shot it and why.
- I turned the dial from Full Auto to a Shutter Priority. I wanted the shutter to stay open for a longer time so it would capture the sparks, flames and streaks made while she was waving the No. 36 Morning Glory around in the air.
- I set the shutter for five seconds. That was long enough to record the light trails, but not so long that Mother would go too blurry, so long as I
- Allowed the flash to go off as soon as the shutter opened. That provided the light to illuminate her and it “froze” most of her movement. The Morning Glories gave enough light that you can see some slight ghosting around her hands.
- I dropped the color saturation just a bit to take some of the redness out. With a little more work in Photoshop, the color balance could have been improved, but it’s been a long day with lots of walking in either rain or a under a hot sun..
She SAID it was an accident
I was standing in the front yard wearing a pair of sandals when Mother gave her Morning Glory a particularly vigorous shake, more like a whip. The flaming, sparking, cracking tip went flying off, aimed directly at my bare toes. Only quick reflexes and dance steps I never did before saved me from having toasty toes and a trip to the emergency room.
She says it was an accident, but I’m wondering if that’s not a subtle hint that it’s time for me to think about heading back to Florida.