Summer Stock: Fireworks on the 4th

Fireworks 2010 July 4th Asbury Park Beach
Fireworks 2010 July 4th Asbury Park Beach

Last year we watched the fireworks on Asbury Park beach. This year we plan to travel to Donaldson Park (a five minute drive from home) to watch the local fireworks show. My daughter and I have planned a picnic dinner – she and my son remember being hungry last year on the beach and watching others with their picnic feasts.

If you don’t live in the U.S.A., on what occasions do you get to see fireworks?

Asbury July 4th Reds

t-shirt at Asbury Park
I loved this t-shirt that was for sale in a store next to the Asbury Park Conventional Hall. The New Jersey books look worth a scan, too.

Asbury Park Conventional Hall sign
Aw, shucks, we missed the wrestling.

flags on boardwalk
The boardwalk was all decked out with American flags.

fireworks in red

Skies at Asbury Park

swftomSky Watch Friday is a photo meme with photos of sunrises, sunsets, blue skies, gray skies, pink skies, orange skies, fireworks skies and any other kind of sky posted by bloggers all over the planet.
sky over building in Asbury Park, New Jersey
We enjoyed spending the evening of July 4th on the beach of Asbury Park, New Jersey. Asbury Park was a fancy place to visit in the early twentieth century; in the late twentieth century, it took a severe downturn. Recently, it has been revived, with restaurants, shops, arcades and theater. One of the famous landmarks in Asbury Park is the Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen used to play. My husband, who grew up near Asbury Park, said we were a few blocks away from the Stone Pony.

sky facing west
This sky faces west. The silhouette of a building is the theater. The sky in the top photo with the green shell faces northeast. Both sky photos were taken within about ten minutes of each other. My husband and daughter went for a ride on the lit up Ferris wheel while my son and I held a spot on the beach.

red sky in Asbury Park
Ah, the sky now turns red.

fireworks over Asbury Park beach
Finally, the part we were waiting for as we sat on a corner of the beach: the fireworks.

fireworks explode over Asbury Park beach on fourth of July

More Asbury Park Fourth of July photos here.

Fireworks at the Fair

Fireworks at Middlesex County Fair, August 3, 2009 (Opening Night)
Fireworks at Middlesex County Fair, August 3, 2009 (Opening Night)

I wish I had read Mason Resnick’s post on Fireworks Photography Basics before going to the fair. And I also wish I knew how to use the continuous shooting mode on my camera inside and out, instead of trying to hunt for it in the dark and running out of time. Maybe next by July 4th I’ll be prepared.

Mason writes:

Exposure tips

Aperture: Most photographers use ISO 100 and an aperture of between f/8 and f/16. The smaller aperture intensifies the colors of the fireworks and prevents overexposure. Experiment and see how the different aperture setting changes the look of your image.

Shutter speed: Use your camera’s “B” (bulb) setting. Start your exposure at the moment the burst begins, and end it when the burst reaches its peak. How long is long enough? For a single blast, a second or two should be sufficient.

Some photographers leave their camera on B and block the lens until there’s a burst, and repeating the process over several bursts. This results in a multiple exposure that can fill the frame with fireworks. Read more.

For more photos of the sky, visit Skywatch Friday:

Sky Watch Friday
Sky Watch Friday