Explosions In The Sky

August 22, 2010 | Category: Fireworks, Night

Yes, I realize it’s the name of a band. The other title I had was “Lights That Shine, Lights That Blind”; I think the band name works better.

When is the best day to see explosions in the sky? Why, the 4th of July of course! What follows are photos I’ve taken in 2009 and 2010 at Michigamme, Michigan’s 4th of July fireworks events.

Lights That Shine

At least 2 separate fireworks lighting up the night

(Yes, this is a repeat from an earlier post, but THIS time it goes with the theme!) I wish I hadn’t cut the top part of the upper firework, but it did allow me to capture the smaller explosions below as well as the light from the launch.

Lights That Blind

A "Blind"-ing flash and fine strands of color

While I almost would have preferred those bright flashes not be there to allow the colors to come out, I like the backdrop of the clouds it provided to the (very fine) strands of color in the trails.

Orange and Blue: Most Overused Colors

These colors are everywhere...

This is a reference to a post somewhere on the Internet I saw a while back, that orange and blue were some of the most overused colors in movie posters and video game art; yet, this was one of my better shots from the night.

New StarCouldn’t come up with a caption for this one, but I love the colors from the top firework; the green is wonderful. The lower firework almost looks like a reflection (I know it’s not, but giving it a quick glance always gives me that “Is it?” feeling).

Light Up The Night

A backdrop of clouds almost obscures blue strands

The caption basically says it all. Again, the backdrop of the clouds provides a nice divergence from the normal black night sky background, but it’s so bright that it almost blots out the strands of color. It is nice to see the little crackles from the higher explosion, though.

Phantom Lines in the Night

Sometimes, reflections in the lens can be cool...

At least, I think its intra-lens reflection. The squiggly fireworks are in and of themselves pretty neat, but the reflections look kind of like phantom fireworks, and I really like the effect.


Just like Super Mario...

The colors, at least [are like Super Mario, and the vague arrangement]. I’m glad this one was fairly centered in the frame (since there wouldn’t have been much else to focus on otherwise) and also that the trail from the launch is visible. It gives the “fireflower” a stem.

Duelling Launches

One caught in the act, one with intent, and one lens flare

I’m glad I didn’t leave the shutter open long enough to catch the second explosion; it kind of leaves you hanging, wanting more.

Ghostly Mirrors

Another intra-lens reflection

I didn’t even really notice these reflections until I went to sort and touch up these photos; there just wasn’t enough time while the fireworks were happening to review any shots. In the end, I’m glad, because I got a neat effect that maybe I would’ve thrown away had I noticed it before. The colors in the actual fireworks are totally overexposed (this was near the end of the show so there were many fireworks being shot off from this location, hence the over-exposure) but the reflections are pretty neat and the colors are not really what you would’ve seen in one of the fireworks in Michigamme.

The Stars and Stripes

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue

And what a shot to close on. A patriotic display on a patriotic holiday; very happy I was able to catch this.

In a few weeks I’ll actually be starting a class on digital photography at the University of Michigan, so hopefully I’ll have some more shots to post! Until then, happy shooting!

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