Independence Day: 2

In Pittsburgh on July 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm

July 4 027

As the fireworks started to fire off, splashing the sky with color and then streaks of smoke, I drew my camera and started shooting. I’m always enamored of fireworks, but Pittsburgh boasts so many displays that the novelty has worn off. Though I’ve heard, over and over, that fireworks are among the most difficult photographic subjects; not only is the majesty of these explosions muted, but their color and power are lost to the camera. The unusual light required resists the lens’ absorption. I thinkered with the F-stop, and soon managed to record patterns of light that I never thought possible: rockets in mid-explosion, colored shrapnel worming through the air, and of course the floral blooms of the largest shells. My eye stuck to my viewfinder; my finger was trigger-happy; but I didn’t feel robbed of the actual experience, because I could still feel the booms vibrating beneath my feet. And as the finale flickered across the sky, merging the spidery patterns of ignited gun-powder, dusk became day, and all around us the silhouettes of fellow Americans screamed and whistled.

  1. OK now I am reading it.

    And I am glad.

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