The Fourth

6 Jul

This year we decided not to go see the city’s firework display.  25 minutes of fireworks just did not justify the fact that it would take us 1.5-2 hours (no exaggeration!) to get home due to parking/traffic when we live 10 minutes away on any normal day.

Last year we did brave the crowds because it was the first year to try out my new camera on the fireworks.  We managed to find parking the last minute, walked several blocks up to attempt to get a good view and mostly ended up with a lot of trees blocking any good view.  All my firework pics from last year include trees.  That and it was so muggy last year with no wind to speak of.  The smoke from the fireworks just clung in the air, obscuring the next firework and the cycle continued, until the end where we mostly were seeing color changing smoke and sparks.

It’s silly, but seeing fireworks on the 4th… well it just reminds me of being a kid.  We always went to go see fireworks on the 4th when I was growing up.  So those years that we’ve missed it… or didn’t do something 4th of July like, just a bummer!

So I decided to bust out the little portable charcoal grill and have a mini cookout. So while waiting for the charcoal to get heated and making sure nothing burned down in the meantime, I just sort of admired how beautifully fire photographs… all wispy…

We kept it simple…(behold the culinary masterpiece)

Now I can’t say I’ve never photographed a hot dog before.

As the sun went down I sat out on the patio and watched the various neighbors around us shooting off fireworks.  It was nice, just relaxing on my patio seeing pretty colors fill the sky.  As darkness came, our neighbors across the field decided once again this year to treat the neighborhood to their amazing firework display which lasted almost a full hour.  It was nearly as nice as the city’s firework display, and I didn’t even have to leave my patio for it.

Which brings me to the pictures I really wanted to share.  Last year I got to full fireworks pictures… background, foreground, the entire shape of each explosion in the sky.   Some day I want to take some of those pictures that news outlets always have splashed all over their webpages of firework displays on the 4th… with sparks and light streaks beaming down over a beautiful landmark or building.  But this year I zoomed in close and got all kinds of light streaks and explosions.

It’s funny to look at the pictures and realize that gee, nowadays pictures like these look like beginner level photoshop effects.  Some of the beauty in photography gets lost in comparison to other technology.  But for me, when I look at it, I’m always so in love with the fact that light does this/made this image.  It captured something our eyes could not. Think how amazing it would be if you control how your eyes and brain process images like a camera does… if you could stop time for a split second to see each individual flap of a hummingbird’s wings or if you could accumulate several seconds of sight for you to see it in one image.  It would be amazing.  And thanks to photography… we can have that.

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