Search This Blog

Friday, July 5, 2013

Skywatch Friday

Yesterday was the Fourth of July.  In the US, it is officially called Independence Day but I don't know anyone who actually says that.  The 4th has somehow become a day of outdoor grilling, picnics and at dusk... fireworks.  Fireworks are illegal in the state of New York, and theoretically, only specially licenced fireworks technicians are allowed to put on shows.  And there are a lot of shows in the area, the biggest one being at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.

We didn't go there.  Lately, downtown Albany has been too much of a madhouse to go there so we've been going to East Greenbush, which overlooks the Plaza.

We didn't go there, either.  It was a long, hot day - over 90F (32C) and we were hot, tired and cranky.  The kiddo insisted on seeing fireworks though, and he and my better half headed off in the car.  The neighbourhood had been popping, sparking, booming and BLAMming for days, so it's no real surprise that they stopped just a few streets away to watch the locals doing their thing.  He was very happy, which made us happy too.

In the mean time, the people on the State Street end of our street were having a show of their own.  Remember, this is all quite illegal - imagine what would happen if one of these rockets landed on a roof and set the house afire.  Their show went on for about a half an hour, and there were literally people on all sides of me doing the same thing.

This is one of those shots.  I was using the Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 wide open for photos before this one, but I didn't like how blobby the photos were turning out.  No matter where I put the shutter speed, between 1/4 and 1/10 of a second, the rocket's were just... blobs of colour.  Nice colour, but still blobs.  So I stopped the lens down to f/4 and used one second exposures and rather prefer the results.  Thought I'd share that in the hopes that I'll be able to look it up next time I want to know what worked :-)

Today is Friday, and that means it's Skywatch Friday.  Please click the link to see the skies from round the world.

LensMinolta MD 50mm f/1.4
F Number4.0
Focal Length50.0 mm
Exposure Time1
Exposure ProgramManual
Exposure Compensation0
FlashOff, Did not fire


  1. Great shot for the 4th of July ~ happy weekend to you ^_^

  2. Cool capture. Happy sky watching.

    My sky.

  3. Very well done. I did a lot of experimenting last night as well(I'm visiting the grandkids in VA) until I managed to learn the same lesson you did. Smoke from the ground displays was also problematic. In any case, I'm glad it worked out for you and that no one's house burned down (I presume)!

  4. I love that you managed to capture the twirly upshoot, the ground bang, and the sky fire all in one shot. Fantastic!

  5. Nice job experimenting with exposure options to get the best outcome!

  6. Original firework shot. Fantastic job!


The spammers have struck. Due to this I will be moderating all comments. Sorry for the hassle, but it's the only choice because I refuse to turn on word verification.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin