Monday, July 6, 2009

Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness

I hope everyone had a wonderful celebration of these inalienable rights over the holiday weekend. We began our Independence Day Celebrations with Fireworks at Kaboom Town on Friday night.

However, as a result of my need to avoid large masses of people we didn't actually go to Kaboom Town. Instead we watched the fireworks at Mitch's driving range. It was absolutely perfect. We had a wonderful view and there were minimal families. There was still traffic to contend with on the way home and a 10 minute drive took an hour but that was too be expected. Luckily Garrett was passed out after about 5 minutes of traffic.

This year was my first real attempt at photographing Fireworks so there is much to be improved and I could have tried again on the 4th if I had the stomach for crowds. But I don't so I'll just tuck away my "next time" notes for next year.

I read an article by Scott Kelby on how to shoot fireworks, found here, and went from there.

Unfortunately I forgot my tripod in the excitement of walking out the door. By the time I realized it it was too late to go back. Better luck next time! As I was uploading my pictures I realized I forgot to adjust my ISO. I had read to put it at 100 but mine was apparently at 800 from shooting indoors. Again, better luck next time!

You may be wondering what exactly I did do then! Well, I shot in manual mode with automatic focus. I had my shutter speed set to bulb which let me keep the shutter open as long as I had the button pressed down and I was at f/11. I used my zoom lens 75-300mm 4-5.6 & did not use a flash.

Here is what I got straight out of the camera.

I decided to process some in PSE6 to add a little pop.

Here is my process:

1. Added two new layers by pressing CTRL J twice.

2. Layer 1 was soft light at 100%.

3. Layer 1 Copy was screen at 50%.

4. I added a New Adjustment Layer of Hue/Saturation and had saturation at 15.

5. I then right clicked on my layers & opted to flatten layers.

6. Finally I went to Enhance, Unsharp Mask at 75% Radius 1 Threshold 0.

Here are some of my favorites.

While my pictures are not stellar feel free to post any questions you may have. I'll be back tomorrow to share the rest of our celebration & answer any questions.


1 comment:

Barb said...

Your photos turned out great. :)