It was 2017 since we have visited the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area. Although we have this on the calendar every year, there are some obstacles to going every year. Firstly, the sunflowers are planted so that they bloom around the hottest time of the year. Additionally, the middle of summer has been busy with other photography projects. This year, however, I am much slower on photography project. So maybe this will be the time to go back.
Thinking of visiting the fields, this would be a great way to social distance! Surely the weather will not be forgiving. It is already hazy, hot, and humid as per usual in this area.
Also looking at these photos, we were very lucky with the day we visited. At this time, I only had my phone with me. Given that this was a spontaneous decision to visit, I will plan better if we got this year. Undoubtedly I’ll bring one of my proper cameras and experiment with some ideas I am previsualizing. To be sure I’ll have the website on a shortlist to visit daily until the flowers are ready. If anyone would like to collaborate on some photos, let’s plan to meet out there!
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!
It has been 20 years since my father passed away. Like many parents that think their children are extraordinary, I have that feeling about my dad. He gave me an appreciation for a lot of the world that I still pursue today! Although I did not get his God-given talent for illustration, he did love photography, and he gave access to some large cameras from a young age. I do not fully appreciate that until now, but I appreciate the faith he gave a spastic boy with his precious camera gear!
At the Grand Canyon
Of course, I wish he was still with us. There is so much over the 20 years that he would have enjoyed seeing! He never had high-speed internet, a cell phone, or an iPad. I can only imagine what kind of sketches he could have made with a tablet and a pencil-like input device. Not to mention, I would love to see what he would think to photograph with my Nikons. I remember taking a special trip to a shopping district in New York City just to browse and eventually buy his NIkon N2020. Can you imagine – autofocus? And I can mount my old lenses if needed? We would have so much to shoot with my collection now.
Windy day on Featherstone Shores
I can remember when posting for photos, my dad was definitely ahead of his time with modeling. Unlike the generic photos of the film-snapshot days, he didn’t always want us to look at the camera. He did not want to us to always be smiling. He directed me when photographing what to include in the frame, and how it should look when it is developed. It was my first lessons in pre-visualization which has helped me in my career now. I save so much time with out “spraying and praying”.
Family photo at church
Thanks for sharing your artistic genetics – it has helped me to build a business and opened so many doors. I wish you could have been here to help me, but not having you here has pushed me to grow up and find my way on my own. I know you are still helping me, and I will keep trying to make you proud.