Hello and Welcome back to EGOS!
Today's feature is Fireworks Original Content Photography.
Over the past decade I have had opportunity to work in the field of professional pyrotechnics. The work is sometimes difficult but always rewarding. A perk of working in the field from my perspective has been the access to take photos and video from close proximity to the air bursts. It's impressive enough to see extraordinary pyrotechnics up close going off directly over your head, or nearly so depending on the wind. It's also a great point of view for capturing the fireworks in their splendor.
Despite over a decade of experience I have had surprisingly few shows with mortar fired fireworks which I was able to successfully photograph. First of all I usually only work 1 or 2 large shows per year. Second it's because most of my 4th of July shows have taken place on a barge. Because fireworks are best photographed from a very still camera the rocking of the ocean water proved to be enough that I have satisfied myself with capturing only video when firing a show from sea.
Today I'm going to share some of my favorite selects from a handful of pyro displays. In the upcoming days I will provide some shooting advice and some videos of various firework shows I worked.
Fullerton 2013 Airbursts.
This show was one of the rare occasions I placed my camera further back from the firing line. I was allowed to set up much closer but I opted to use a tighter lens than usual (50mm prime on a cropped sensor body). The result was an opportunity to have some terrestrial objects in frame to create grounding and scale. The prime lens afforded extra clarity and detail than the zoom lens I typically use. All photos here today were long exposures. The photo just above has been a favorite of mine because I left the shutter open a little extra during a particularly busy set of bursts. The results look almost as if computer generated.
City of Walnut 2010 Airbusts.
This was my first time photographing mortar fireworks from up close. I used my everyday 17-85mm zoom lens, again on a crop sensor camera body. Other than a couple experimental shots not included here I stayed far to the 17mm end of the range. Fireworks so close fill up the sky above so using my widest lens was a must. Some of the shots exhibit a little dew which had formed on the lens of my camera. Despite not being perfect I consider the shoot a success for a freshman effort.
The surreal look of the fireworks made to stand still conjured thoughts of cosmic events. Super novae and expanding galaxies. There's also something reminiscent of deep sea bio-luminescence. Like strange jellies billowing in the pitch.
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Have a very safe and happy 4th of July! It's Independence Day!
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