It’s America’s Birthday, and I found myself at a picnic bench in Flintstone Park where I set up my tripod and camera to photograph the town’s annual fireworks display. From that location, I was able to see down the beach to the show area. It allowed me keep some of the lights from town in the shot, with the rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air above.
In typical Pacific Northwest fashion though, it was a chilly evening. It was still daylight when I set my gear and connected the remote trigger cable, but by the time the show started a little after 10:00pm, I was wishing I brought a jacket. You’d think I’d learn from the 22 other chilly Independence Days (sans one or two) I’ve spent here, but you’d be wrong.
I snapped off a hundred or so shots of fireworks, 30 of which came out half decent. Nothing spectacular, though. I’ve shot the fireworks in Oak Harbor, Washington a few times from several different locations. It’s getting kind of boring for me. I wish they’d make the show area bigger like they do in larger cities. It would be nice to spread the mortar explosions out across the entire length of
City Beach, sorry, Windjammer Park, or even from barges anchored in the harbor. It might even alleviate some traffic congestion after the show… But I digress.
In town a couple of days after the 4th, I noticed the carnival Ferris wheel was lit up nicely with bright, color-changing LED lights. It gave me the opportunity to experiment with some longer exposures that I’ve seen others do with Ferris wheels. So, again I found a picnic bench at
City Beach, ugh, Windjammer Park near the wheel and set up my tripod and camera. I had to share the table a few times with carnival-goers. I was far from the midway, but obviously close to the concessionaires. The hamburgers, french fries, and funnel cake of one couple just made me hungry. But they left shortly after torturing me with their aromas of deliciousness.
Back in the viewfinder, I was at ISO 100, aperture stopped down to f/11 or f/16, and exposing for 2 to 3 seconds. As the Ferris wheel turned, the LED lights changed colors as they streaked across my sensor, making really cool patterns. The images kind of reminded me of Spirograph, that old geometric drawing toy us old farts had as a kid. I was surprised how well the images turned out considering this was my first time photographing a Ferris wheel with long exposures.
I wanted to walk around the carnival and get some images of the rides and whatnot, but the carnies were in closing up shop. All of the food stands were closed, and several of the less-popular rides were already in the process of being disassembled. Next time I’ll shoot on day that’s not the last of several.
All in all, I was happy with my results…