Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Photographic Adventure....

I've given up on my 365 photo adventure.  It's not a bad thing--it's a realigning thing.  I found out that when I was taking a photo a day, I was taking a lot of snapshots, not photographs.  I started the adventure to improve my camera skills with my new Nikon camera, not to take a snapshot a day.  I get my camera out about once a week now and actively look for things to shoot and in a way to expand my skills.

The 4th of July gave me a perfect excuse to work on my skills.  FIREWORKS!!!  Nighttime photography and movement are 2 things I really need to work on.  A learning experience!  I scoured the web for tips and advice before I left for Sugarhouse Park and realized once again, that a tripod, would be essential.  Uh-oh, I still don't have one.  How do I get around this?  Can I get around this? or Will my pictures not turn out?

Why don't I have a tripod?  When I purchased my camera, I was given a great piece of advice.  Don't buy a lot of gadgets or lenses your first year.  It's something I've taken to heart for a couple of reasons.  #1 Photography is not a cheap hobby.  Most gadgets are not cheap!!!  #2  You may think that when you get your camera, you will shoot a lot of scenery, but you find out you like taking pictures of people.  If you bought all of the stuff for scenery, you will then have to invest in more stuff.. #3  Learn how to work with out all of the gadgets... You'll become a better photographer and if you ever forget something, you can still take photos.

Back to Sugarhouse Park and the fireworks,  we found a great spot and waited.  I took photos of the crowd to test out my lighting (a lot of people had purchased glow sticks and others were lighting sparklers).

Kids playing with glow sticks.....  Uh-oh, I have a lot of blur.  It's kind of cool though...
A little girl playing with a sparkler.  Love the effect!!!!  It gave me an idea for something to try when I get home.  I will post the results after I do it.

Finally, around 10 pm, it was time for fireworks!!!!  The big show, just me and 60,000 other people crammed into the park.  Here are my results...

My first shot... partially out of frame, but kind of cool.  I can see the need for the tripod!!!  The shutter speed needed for these shots is sooooooo slow any movement of the camera equals blurring.
It doesn't even look like a  firework. does it?  Once again, I moved the camera while the shutter was still open.  In addition to a tripod, a remote for the shutter would be useful.
Better,  I about passed out from not breathing during this one.  :}

Closer, but still not detailed.  I'll take it!!!
My favorite of the night!!! I actually accomplished something I had read about.  With a long exposure setting, you can actually capture multiple fireworks in one shot by putting a piece of black foam in front of the lens between the fireworks.  It is still blurry, but YEAH!  It worked.

Lesson of the night, a tripod and a remote for your camera are essential for non blurry firework shots.  If you don't mind the cool effects, have fun without one.

The other thing that I noticed...I didn't really watch the fireworks.  I shot them.  I was concerned about shutter speed and framing.  For me, it kind of took away from the fireworks experience.  Fortunately, everyone knew I was experimenting and learning, so they understood when I ignored them.  A beginner's trial, I guess.  Maybe, a tripod and a remote would help with that.

I do know this, at the end of the year, a tripod and a remote for my camera are at the top of my list.  I have had a number of instances this year where they would of made my life a lot easier and ended up with better photographs.

My year of photography learning continues...
until next time.

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