The Fourth of July was a pretty normal day for me, even though I live in our Nation’s Capital. After you have lived here a few years it starts becoming a bit mundane and you start to get tired of fighting the tourists out on the National Mall. This year my husband and I went over to a friend of ours for a backyard barbecue in the early afternoon. It was nice, and we left around 5 o’clock to make it back into the city, so I could watch the fireworks. Surprisingly, there was hardly any traffic. The one thing that I do like about living here is watching the fireworks on the Fourth.
|Viewing Angel from Air Force Memorial|
|View of Fireworks from Air Force Memorial|
I shot about 125 frames, but only kept 18 frames. The reason for culling so many was two-fold. First I accidentally turned off image stabilization, which added blur to the shots, when I switched to manual focus. Second, I was just not happy with the overall composition and exposure of many of the shots. If you are wondering why I switched to manual focus, it was to lock the focus. In Auto Focus mode in low light the camera sometimes has a hard time focusing quick enough, so it won’t take the shot or will focus on the wrong thing. Usually I get around this by having the Washington Monument in the background, for the camera to focus on, but in this instance I could not get the monument in the shot due to the viewing angle. It is also hard determine the proper exposure for fireworks, especially if you want some of the background to show up without blowing out the night sky. I was shooting at on a tripod with a trigger at F/11, for .3 – 2.0 seconds at ISO 200 to reduce noise and get a long depth of field. This worked well for most of the shots dependent upon how many fireworks had just gone off. Fireworks for me are work in progress, and each year is a little better. Though I do believe next year I will have to either brave the National Mall or go to Rosslyn to get the traditional shots of DC fireworks that everyone always sees.