Blog 1/2 July 4th Fireworks.....What Do I Like to Photograph?

Hi friends! Welcome to my 2nd blog of all time! Hopefully this will get easier as I plod along through the murky depths of website design and page development. No one prepared me for this aspect of photography....I naively believed that to be a productive, professional photographer one just needed to learn how to compose beautiful, extraordinary images of what was desired. Boy was I wrong!!  So much to learn so I'm jumping in, hoping to stay afloat to the next sandbar. 

As you may have guessed by the background, my theme for this blog is the 4th ofJuly.  I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday, sharing it with friends and family. I spent the 4th in my hometown of Pensacola, FL watching fireworks blaze the sky over Pensacola Bay.

I'm often asked the question, "What do you like to photograph?" and my answer is "Everything!"  Well, a few days ago, I realized I had never before photographed fireworks...except with my handy dandy i-Phone of course, so I decided it was time to conquer my fear of the dark.  In preparation I, the ever consummate student, read several articles on how to facilitate this endeavor. Each author had his/her own tips and tricks, and the well-intended advice meant to reduce my illiteracy resulted in dry mouth and sweaty palm syndrome.  So many settings to think about! My comfort zones with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO were thrown out the usual settings for daytime photography became invalid for night. The advice gave me headaches, but like the blog page development, blundering through was, in my mind, the only option.  I had give it a try.

With my decision confirmed to proceed I soothed my anxiety by self-assurance that I would arrive early, find my perfect spot for photographic excellence, and set up my tripod and camera with PLENTY of time to play with the settings. Oh such good intentions!! Since I'm Super Noonie, the indefatigable grandmother, I invited the family over for primo sausagedogs and all the fixins' prior to the event. "No problem" I determine...." I'm right on schedule" and said family arrives as promised. After dinner we set out for the short hike to the Bayfront. 5 year old grandson wants Noonie and Grandma Jill to ride their bikes with him....Sure! But what to do with the camera?? Daughter kindly takes camera and tripod along with baby in the stroller, and we set out into the summer heat. As we enter the park we are enveloped within the throngs of people. Navigating the crowd with bikes and stroller, our entourage searches for the perfect spot so that all may have a view.  I had forgotten what an art it is to stay upright on a bike which is barely moving, and I'm envying my grandson's training wheels! Oh to be 5 again.  Daughter stops pushing stroller with baby, camera and tripod to attempt communication with additional family members for reconnaissance (which by the way never occurred) prior to the fireworks display. The ensuing darkness prevails, the loud speakers blast family music and my precious pre-event moments tick away.  

The loud speaker to my left ear blared a 5 minute event warning as I hurriedly locked the bikes, placed grandfather next to grandson for safety, assured his mommy that he was safe with said grandfather at specified location, set up my tripod and camera and encouraged my over-stimulated brain to remember all the advice I had so fervently committed to memory. 

One only learns by trying, so I give myself a silent verbal reward for making the effort. After several manipulations the LCD screen revealed a few images that were at least recognizable. I've included some of my first images on this page, and I must say I'm a little proud of them.  Clicking on an image will take one to the gallery where more images are available for critique. I'm sure there are better, but for my first attempt...changing night time settings on the fly without the benefit of light... I give myself a pat on the back for keeping my cool in the summer heat and learning that I don't have to be afraid of the dark.

Enough about me, I'd love to hear from you!

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