Wednesday, July 31, 2013


You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine, Just own the night like the 4th of July, Katie Perry
Art at its best is inspiring, and Katie Perry's Firework is certainly inspirational. 

And fireworks owned the night the Fourth of July at Birdsong Resort.  Capturing the mood photographically isn't a matter of point and shoot.

First of all, let me tell you how to shoot fireworks.

1.  Open your favorite web browser.
2.  Go to your favorite search engine.
3.  Type in "how to photograph fireworks".
4.  Go to the first web pages that aren't advertisements, and read them.
5.  Now you should know how to photography fireworks.
6.  Here is what I came up with: How to Photograph Fireworks

I'm not a technical camera person, but I do know that you can't use automatic settings on fireworks, that you really should have a tripod, and that you need a long exposure time to capture the movement of the light. On the Fourth of July, we were treated to a pretty amazing fireworks display in Camden, Tennessee. It seemed as if the whole town was at the boat dock, and surrounding land, with dozens of boats in the creek waiting for the show, and a festive atmosphere.  While this should have been a fabulous photography experience, it was something less than that for me. I was there with family, and the one mainly in charge of my six year old grandson, who seemed to get too much sensory overload and wanted to watch the fireworks from the window inside our double wide. Also, my tripod was in Memphis!  While I knew the basics of how to shoot fireworks, I did not know the details or how to translate that to my camera.

But, I persevered and did my best in the face of obstacles.  I resorted to my fallback position--experiment, snap a lot of photos, and hope some of them turn out.  Here is another non award winning fireworks photo, taken under the somewhat adverse conditions:


More fun was taking photos of the festive crowd before and during the display as well as throughout the weekend of festivities.


My camera seems to automatically point at birds no matter the other content available.  However, this particular weekend there was a bit too much activity (and smoke from campfires!) for birds anywhere but the boat.  Herons even seemed to hide!.  The one place to predictably find birds are on the various mile markers for barges on the Tennessee River, because ospreys nest on every single one, as far as I can tell.  I feel a little guilty getting the osprey all upset when the boat gets near their precious nests on the mile markers, but it does make for some interesting photos. I figure if my husband can catch his beloved bass, hurt their mouths by catching them with a hook, and then save their lives by throwing them back, then my getting near the ospreys isn't such a big deal.  

Okay, these people were out in the creek without waders.  I am not particularly afraid of snakes, but I am not sure I would have done this.  Other than creatures, this actually seems quite pleasant.

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