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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Still Life, B/W & Experimental
Thread started 14 Feb 2002 (Thursday) 04:00
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Happy Valentine's Fireworks

 
Don ­ Ellis
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Hong Kong
Feb 14, 2002 04:00 |  #1

Thanks to canonfan for his greetings in another "Share Photo" message and for reminding me that I captured a fireworks heart last night. Like love, it was accidental.

I was busy staring at my LCD, pacing my shots and trying to learn fireworks photography in 23 minutes when I heard someone exclaim, "Waah, a heart!" so I guess I wasn't the only one who saw it (it's the scalloped thing with the radial spokes).

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Canon G2, ISO50, shutter speed 0.3 seconds, aperture 2.2, RAW format, -1/3 exposure compensation, from a monopod strapped to a guard rail.



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twalker294
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Feb 14, 2002 09:04 |  #2

Great catch Don! You got lucky on that one ;-)a

Todd


Todd Walker
http://twalker294.post​erous.com/external linkhttp://www.twphotograp​hy.netexternal link
Canon 40D, 10D, G9, SX20IS, and SD500

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Don ­ Ellis
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Feb 14, 2002 17:39 |  #3

twalker294 wrote:
Great catch Don! You got lucky on that one ;-)a

On the talk show circuit, that will become "anticipated the moment and was ready for it." :)

Hope you and your girls had a nice Valentine's Day.




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oops
Senior Member
340 posts
Joined Jun 2001
Feb 14, 2002 18:43 |  #4

If this were golf I would ask for a handicap! I really love the G2 shots I am seeing.

How many shots of this did you take? Were the settings "seat of the pants" or did you have an idea of how your camera might perform before you took the shot?




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canonfan
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Feb 14, 2002 20:03 |  #5

Nice firwork display. I have not seen a heart, this is the first. Thanks for sharing --Canonfan




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Leighow
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Feb 14, 2002 20:46 |  #6

DON

Super picture. You must have scouted out the location!
And what a photo narrative -- not just a color shot:

I just love the river, the reflections in the water, what appears to be a wake from a now passed boat, the bright white smoke, lighted trusses and mechanical river structures, and in the distance ... what I assume to be a fireworks barge lost in the smoke.

That's being ready and in the right place at the right time.

HOWIE




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Don ­ Ellis
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Feb 15, 2002 00:01 |  #7

Happy Valentine's Fireworks

Since you asked...I'll tell you everything I learned in 23 minutes if you'll keep in mind that 20 minutes of that time was shooting and only 3 minutes spent learning.

First, I lashed my monopod to a guard rail, adjusted the scene with a ballhead, and did not change it. I did not flip my camera horizontally because I needed the near foreground and the height to give the fireworks some dimension. From some other location, horizontal might have worked just as well.

I took about 70 shots and started out in P mode. Initially, I was getting too many blown-out shots (a matter of timing, I learned), so I switched to Manual for about 10 photos. I quickly realized in Manual that success depended on all the shots being approximately the same brightness, but fireworks vary so much that I wasn't happy with that approach. So I switched back to my old reliable (within limits) P mode.

[Theatrical Aside]

At this point, any normal photographer would ask why I didn't use Aperture Priority -- and I would probably have to say ignorance and the pressure of the ticking clock. I nearly always shot AP with my SLR equipment, but it never seems to occur to me with the G2. Partly, I think, it's because of the greater depth of field you get with the G2. As you can see in the heart picture, the aperture is 2.2 and everything in the photo is nicely focused. Also at these apertures, I was getting faster shots. Having said all that, I would be inclined to try a few aperture priority shots next time.

[/Theatrical Aside]

With the P mode setting, I half-depressed the shutter, waited for a firework, waited through any blinding flash (a technique learned in the first 20 shots) and fully pressed the shutter when I liked what I saw -- either by looking directly at the fireworks (sometimes) or in the LCD (mostly).

The longest of any shutter speeds was about a second. Of 70 shots, there were about five that I found worth post-processing. The heart was worth the entire exercise for all the reasons that Howie was kind enough and astute enough to point out. I feel that fireworks need something terrestrial to ground them -- a ship or building or tree or something -- and add interest and scale to the scene. As for the wake, it's really not... I don't know where the wave action is coming from because all harbour traffic in the area is stopped for the fireworks. There was only one fireworks barge this year and it was directly under the heart. I do think the blown-out highlights work in this photo and I like the melting icicles effect.

I was fortunate to have found the location a year ago. The picture was taken from the Yacht Club in Causeway Bay. There was a cruise ship at Ocean Terminal in the far right corner (all lit up) and a lighter in the left foreground (that thing with a derrick for off-loading ships anchored in the harbor -- they're called lighters because they make the ships lighter).

So there you have it... you can imagine how much more I would have to impart if I'd studied for a full half-hour. The hidden message here is to take my fireworks thoughts in the same spirit you would take a book review, as just one man's opinion -- an opinion that may be revised next New Year's when I try again.

As for Chris' suggestion of a handicap, I find in the heat of battle that I regularly handicap myself with forgetfulness -- of things like aperture and flash exposure compensation (I'm thinking of an indoor lion dance earlier) and the like. Ah, well, we shoot and learn.

Thanks to everyone for your comments. Here's another for your patience...

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Canon G2, ISO 50, 1/13th second, 2.2 aperture.

I also discovered what happens when you shoot over 9999 pictures -- they start from zero again. As you probably would imagine.

Cheers.



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twalker294
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Feb 15, 2002 11:30 |  #8

Don Ellis wrote:
I also discovered what happens when you shoot over 9999 pictures -- they start from zero again. As you probably would imagine.

Does the folder name change to 200CANON? I would guess that it would...

Todd


Todd Walker
http://twalker294.post​erous.com/external linkhttp://www.twphotograp​hy.netexternal link
Canon 40D, 10D, G9, SX20IS, and SD500

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Leighow
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Joined Jan 2002
Feb 15, 2002 16:33 |  #9

DON

What a great story about your 1st shot and the river lighters-- it would fit a Jonathan Raban travel story (e.g. Coasting) like a glove. You second shot is a G2 wonder too. I will remember your guidelines -- and wait out the initial explosion.

I have never taken my camera to our July 1st Canada day celebrations, but we do watch from an island site in the middle of the Ottawa River, and this spot shares that darken excitement that your photos convey.

One other thing. I posted a 1964 Jiffy Guide to Night Photography elsewhere on Pekka's site. According to that 40-year-old guide, Night Scene #9, photos of Fireworks at ISO 50 and F2 should be 1/15 of a second. Bang on your second photo settings.

Amazing.

HOWIE




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Don ­ Ellis
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Feb 15, 2002 20:20 |  #10

twalker294 wrote:
Does the folder name change to 200CANON? I would guess that it would...

I imagine we use different programs to download and store. I'm using BreezeBrowser which downloads into daily directories that the program creates, so while my filenames are the same as in September when I first started using the G2, the folders are obviously different.

Could I see this giving me problems? Sure. But they're slight and I wouldn't give up BreezeBrowser because of it. I would simply rename with an extra character if there were a conflict.




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twalker294
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Feb 18, 2002 12:58 |  #11

Don Ellis wrote:
twalker294 wrote:
Does the folder name change to 200CANON? I would guess that it would...

I imagine we use different programs to download and store. I'm using BreezeBrowser which downloads into daily directories that the program creates, so while my filenames are the same as in September when I first started using the G2, the folders are obviously different.

Could I see this giving me problems? Sure. But they're slight and I wouldn't give up BreezeBrowser because of it. I would simply rename with an extra character if there were a conflict.

Don,

I was referring to the folder on the camera itself. Do you use a card reader? If so, what is the name of the folder that the pics are stored in?

Todd


Todd Walker
http://twalker294.post​erous.com/external linkhttp://www.twphotograp​hy.netexternal link
Canon 40D, 10D, G9, SX20IS, and SD500

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Don ­ Ellis
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Feb 18, 2002 17:56 |  #12

twalker294 wrote:
I was referring to the folder on the camera itself. Do you use a card reader? If so, what is the name of the folder that the pics are stored in?

Ah... don't know because I never remove my Microdrive -- I always use a USB cable.




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Happy Valentine's Fireworks
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