On this occasion, I went to the Chantilly, Virginia offices of Legacy Scenic. As can be seen, this is not only an office space but a workshop, design lab, and warehouse in one! Being that a photographer has access to look behind the curtain at events, this is look behind the curtain – behind the curtain!
For large events, I have seen elaborate branded sets where speakers, and presentations are made against camera-ready backdrops. Legacy Scenic is the company that creates these sets from scratch. While they have
the experience in creating these, you can work with them to design how your set will look. On account of the elements on a set being custom, they have the capability to fabricate what you need from small to large details. I photographed them working with the large, noisy, and sometimes sparking machines. These were amazing for photos!
If you visit their updated website, you can see my images added to their photos of completed sets. Given that this is an election year, you will likely see more of their work on news channels this fall. When trade shows come back, you will undoubtedly see them there as well. Thanks to Virginia and the team at StraTac Marketing for the opportunity to see the magic behind this creative company. Also, thanks to the team at Legacy who was very patient with me as I asked so many questions while I was there. They have almost as many cools toys to play with at work as photographers!
If you follow any photography blogs, they probably have a post of ‘Fireworks Photo Tips’ this week. Obviously, this site is focused on photos, so here is my take! Firstly, I enjoy watching fireworks shows. Since it is both an audio, and visual experience, I do not want to spend the entire night concentrating on photos. Thus, I make my setup flexible for me to both capture images while enjoying the show live. As can be seen in the following photo, this is my setup:
At this time, I mounted the camera on a tripod with a 24mm wide-angle lens. Additionally, I installed a remote release so that I could open the shutter without having my hand on the camera. This is the small cord coming out of the left of the camera body. For camera settings, I have the shutter speed set on ‘bulb’. When you have the camera in this mode, you can control when the shutter opens and closes by pressing on the remote release.
With this in mind, I point the camera in the direction of where I think the fireworks will be exploding overhead. With the wide angle lens, there is a good chance that I will get the fireworks in the frame. Moreover, in your post-processing application, you can crop to a nice composition later. Since the backgrounds are dark and the subjects are just streaks of light, these files can handle a lot of cropping.
When I see the firework shot into the sky, I press the remote to open the shutter. Soon after the brightest flash, I close the shutter again to capture the full explosion. You will likely have to spot check during the show to see a result. However, don’t take too long! Adjust your timing quickly so you can go back to watching the show at the same time. Happy 4th!
One of the many events that I am disappointed to not be covering this year, is the Maker Faire. Last year, I photographed the 2019 Maker Faire NoVa held on the campus of GMU. Prior to the event, I was referred to the organizers by the TEDxTysons team. Being that the TEDx group was a sponsor of the event, it was a great collaboration. Moreoever, they had a tent at the Maker Faire to promote their upcoming events. Overall they have very similar audiences.
Since this was the first time I attended this event, I needed to quickly get acquainted. The biggest challenge for the day was that the whole event was sprawled across a few campus buildings. Of course, I did not want to leave out any section from the photo collection, so I had to work fast! Armed with a map and schedule of events for the day, I had to divide my time as efficiently as I could. I wish I had more time to see all the creations!