fireworks for Independence Day

Derry fireworks have gotten really good, last year were great too. Here are some photos where I was trying to use a pull focus technique to make make fireworks look kinda “flowery”. Mixed results, but this handful of photos were pleasing. The horrible cropping is because we were really close to the show—I had considered bringing the 14mm, but second guessed myself.

one of the better “flowery” results

pulling out of focus instead of into focus is neat too, but this is the only one

the 50mm field of view is a bit too narrow

a bit washed out—not sure why I didn’t crop this one to center

sparkling fireworks leave dotted lines!

something dreamy about this one

some good colors on this one—also filled up the frame nicely

nice colors—you can see that I pulled it into focus and then back out again

this might be my least favorite


I also tried the Lytro Illum, which I bought last week. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work very well & it turned out I was right. It doesn’t handle low light very well (and I’m completely spoiled with the α7sii & an F/1.4 primary), but worse, it doesn’t capture any depth at such a large distance. So I have a few of those photos but I won’t bother sharing them.

Instead these last two photos have tilted focal planes, rather than a pull-focused-exposure.

instead of the “flowery” effect this has a simple tilted focal plane

another tilted (rather than focusing) shot—tiny fireworks?

After feeling a bit disappointed that the flowery effect wasn’t working well I decided to just record video, so these are the last 14 minutes of the show (which was about half an hour long total). It’s kind of a lot to watch, so I recommend skipping to ~4 minutes 50 seconds where I play with the focus.

With the longer exposures I had to close the aperture quite a bit, so the “flowery” effect is pretty limited. (I figure I’ll cut some polarizing filters to cut the light down so I can open it back up.) The video demonstrates just how big the bokeh can really be. (I had the same problem recently trying to photograph planes at Logan Airport. That’ll be another use for the polarizing filters.)

Before the show I wandered around town a bit looking for interesting things to photograph. The one thing that really caught my attention was how this vine was climbing this guy wire.

For some reason power lines & telephone polls, and electrical equipment, have always been favorite photographic subjects for me.

vine climbing a telephone guy wire

At first I thought the vine only went so far up, & then the wire unwound beyond that, but now I think it’s all just the vine

Earlier in the day my brothers’, their wives, and my nephew, came to my mom’s house. Here’s my nephew Max (and his mom Nicole is next to him in the background).

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