Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

First post of the new year, and what a start to 2010.  The idea was for photo enthusiasts to take a picture just ten minutes before midnight to show the preparations for the start of the New Year celebrations.  A flickr group was created for people to post their images and twitter was used to publicise the event.  Close to twenty people joined the group and some even managed to stay awake long enough to take a photo and then submit it to the group.  My effort is the photograph above.  I went over to Devonport on Auckland's North Shore to watch the New Year's fireworks that were to be set off Skytower.  The folks in the picture are getting ready to the show; pointing their camera at Skytower in the distance.

Getting there was easy, but it was busy.  Getting home was even worse!  I think people had staggered their arrival times, but not their departure times!  Arggh!!  Not the best start to 2010 to be stuck in a traffic jam!

I wasn't sure what to do with the images.  What exposure to pick?  I decided to go handheld for the first image and selected ISO 3200 in an attempt to reduce shake!  It's a bit grainy, but I think this adds to the effect really.  We used to use film grain to enhance the image if memory serves me!  Anyway, for shots of the fireworks I decided a lower ISO and a tripod were the order of the day.  ISO 200 and f8 and I let the camera select the shutter speed.  I was hoping for something in the order of a second or two to capture the star effects of the fireworks.  The second image in the post is again just prior to midnight as I tested the exposure of the city.  I decided to get the exposure right for the city lights and use this for the fireworks.

Well, that was the plan, but it was well past my bedtime and the camera was set to Aperture Priority so the camera selected the shutter speed all by itself!  Not too bad though?  The image to the above is one of my attempts.  The main problem I was having was camera shake ... that old Bilora tripod need replacing!  If you have any tips or tricks for taking firework images, please let me know!  Next year I'll do a better job.

Fireworks over it was time to head home and upload the photographs to the flickr group.  Check it out, there's some great shots in there.

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