Fourth of July 2020

Fourth of July 2020

Catching up with fireworks photos

Since the fourth of July looks a little different this year, I decided to go all out with sharing my work from previous firework shows. It has been a lot of fun going through my older photos to see the mistakes and lessons I’ve learned along the way.

2016

I was not sure if I would actually ever share these. But, these are my first attempts, and I am taking the opportunity to reflect and see where I was and where I am now. That helps when I’m being too critical of myself.

First row settings:

  • ISO 200
  • 49mm
  • f/11
  • 6s

Second row settings:

  • ISO 100
  • 16mm
  • f/16
  • 1.6s
2017

I already wrote a comprehensive post about this year –> 2017 4th of July

Learning little by little to get the photos I want. Here are some of my favorites:

2018

At the second ever Bremerton Bridge Blast I felt like I was finally fully prepared to master these fireworks shots. I had my trusty Sony A6000, 18-105mm f/4 lens, and a solid tripod. 

  • ISO 100
  • 37mm
  • f/18
  • 4s
2019

Now, 2019 meant I had a few years of 4th of July photos under my belt, so I should know what I’m doing right? Right?!? Well, this was also my first year with the Sony A7Riii. Anyone who has changed their camera setup will tell you there is a break in period. I was not comfortable using the kit lens, so I grabbed my reliable 18-105, fully charged battery, tripod, and gave it a go with these settings:

  • ISO 100
  • 18mm
  • f/16
  • 4s

2020

What a ride 2020 has been. I graduated with my masters degree in June and I was ready to get back into taking photos. Our friends live on the water and invited us over for a physically distanced viewing of their neighbors annual fireworks show.
Something I really missed last year when I moved from the A6000 to the a7RIII was an intervalometer. Sony released an update a bit ago that added this internally to my camera so I was able to program exactly what I needed the camera to do. The best part of firework shows is that they usually last at least 15 minutes, leaving plenty of time to make any changes. I ended up using two different sets of settings to explore what I could get.

The first, blue background settings:

  • ISO 100
  • 20mm
  • f/2.8
  • 5s

Black background settings:

  • ISO 100
  • 20mm
  • f/16-f/20
  • 5s

Probably the coolest part of the night was when the full moon appeared through the clouds about halfway through the fireworks show! I still see aspects I want to improve, but I am pretty excited with how many photos turned out well this year! Firework photos are so much fun because you have to adapt to any unforeseen challenges. I’m looking forward to the next show! 

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

During our visit to Sydney, Australia we were fortunate to be able to visit the Taronga Zoo to experience their contribution to Vivid Sydney, a three week event held during the winter months in Sydney to encourage tourism. A huge part of the city was lit up for it’s first night on May 25th – and we were able to experience a little more of it by riding a ferry over to the Taronga Zoo:

Step inside a world of scientific discovery and become a Light For the Wild. Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo is shining a light on conservation and the wonders of wildlife with a spectacular display of light sculptures. Alongside the festival favourites from last year, you’ll meet a whole new mob of awe-inspiring animal light sculptures.

Each of these incredible installations and light sculptures tells a fascinating tale about conservation. Discover the stories about these beautiful animals and learn how Taronga is working to help save 10 species from extinction over the next 10 years.

I added a gallery of my favorite photos from the night. To capture the different colors I used these settings:

  • ISO 6000-8000
  • f/16-f/20
  • 1/30 shutter speed
Featured in The 5 Star News – USS Nimitz Association

Featured in The 5 Star News – USS Nimitz Association

This past winter I was honored to have one of my homecoming photos featured in The 5 Star News, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) Association Newsletter. My photo of the carrier taken in December with the Olympic mountains in the background was on the front page of their article highlighting the achievements of their latest deployment:

“This deployment tested the 42-year-old Nimitz,
which is the oldest active service nuclear powered
aircraft carrier in the fleet.

In the gulf, the strike group operated in
extremely hot conditions, where the heat index
often exceeded 150 degrees and the seawater
temperature hovered around 100 degrees.”

The 5 Star News in it’s entirety can be read over at the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) Association website.

Getting fireworks shots honed in – 4th of July

Getting fireworks shots honed in – 4th of July

This year I made it a goal to get better fireworks photos! I planned two fireworks photo ops to get the best chance of getting some good shots (It didn’t hurt that they were both a lot of fun!)

To kick off the fourth of July weekend, we went to the 1st annual Bremerton Beat Blast. At 10:15 fireworks were set off the Manette Bridge. I took these from the Port Orchard waterfront with these settings: 100 ISO f/4 2-5 seconds

Of course we had to attend the Tacoma Freedom Fair! I set up my tripod at Point Ruston this year to avoid some of the crowds and give us a better chance of getting home sooner, and utilized my zoom lens. I used these settings: 100 ISO f/16 4-6 seconds

Overall some little areas to improve but I am pretty happy with how the second batch turned out! Using f/16 definitely helped darken the background and brighten the bursts. Let me know if you have a favorite. Cheers!

P.S, I took a timelapse of the sun setting on Mount Rainier as we waited for the fireworks show!

Sunset on Mount Rainier from Kristie on Vimeo.

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