If you have been following the Mac Lab Blog and the happenings of the 2010 Mac Lab Summer Academy™, then you know that I am determined to capture some amazing pictures of fireworks this 4th of July. Today, the 3rd, I went to the top of the hill in Cottonwood and watched a fireworks show over the Cottonwood Golf Course. My goal was to test the new advanced shutter button and experiment with the techniques I had learned here and here.
Well, I had moderate success. The button worked well once I figured it out but I ended up not using many of its cool features. As for what I had read, well only about half actually proved to be applicable to this particular shoot. Focusing turned out to be more that just throwing the dial to infinity and the 4 seconds and f/11 trick that Scott Kelby suggested didn’t work very well. What did work phenomenally though was the baseball hat trick I read here. Yes, you are going to have to read the article to find out what I mean. The most important thing I learned, however, is that experimentation is key. There is not a single group of settings that will yield perfect pictures every time and so you must be willing to experiment and find what is best. That goes for everything in general.
I took 92 pictures in a twenty minute time period. About 25 are good. About 20 are great. Here are the first 4. What’s really good is that there is very little post-production work to be done with pictures like this. It took be under ten minutes to edit these 4 and most of that time was spent in Camera Raw.
More info here.
The way I see it is that is you are up at 5 am, why not go outside and take some pictures.
Professional photographer Scott Kelby correctly states that there are only two times of the day that you can take landscape shots, thirty minutes on either side of dawn and thirty minutes on either side of dusk. I have plenty of pictures stacking up in my library that I took at dusk or in the late afternoon, so I would like to work on the other end of the spectrum for a while.
And so I wait for first light.
A few hours later. Looking back, I realize there was a fatal flaw in my plan: the sun actually has to rise in order for there to be light. 5:30 is a little too early. I waited for about an hour until I had to start working here. I took a few pictures of flowers in my backyard, but I used the flash and they didn’t look too good when I viewed them on the camera. I have yet to unload them and see how bad they really are.
As this blog grows, we will compile a page filled with the resources that we have found especially useful. Whenever we add to this page, we will post as update.