Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July Fireworks


Continuing the tradition from last year, we celebrated the 4th of July holiday with a simple barbeque in our backyard and watching the fireworks at night. The barbeque ofcourse was a sedate, fully vegetarian affair with chips, grilled corn, skewered vegetables and veggie burgers.

The last 2 years, we went to Central Park in Santa Clara to watch the fireworks. While the fireworks display there is spectacular, it is a really popular spot that gets crowded real soon. So getting parking nearby and finding a good spot to watch the fireworks requires that we show up more than 2 hours early. That is not a good option when you have a kid who gets restless after running around in the park for an hour or so. Getting home isn't easy either with all the traffic and could easily take upto an hour. So this time we picked a closer location, Hyde school, in Cupertino to watch the display. It was way less crowded and the fireworks show was just as good. We were joined by 2 other friends and their families and so it was a fun, relaxed affair.

I finally bought a tripod a couple of weeks ago and with the S3 IS having a fireworks setting(aperture f/8, shutter speed 2s), I was all set to finally get some good pictures of the fireworks. The photos were better when compared to the shaky, handheld photos I got last year but they're still not what I'd call good shots. It had nothing to do with the camera and was all the photographer's fault though! The main problem was that I zoomed in to focus only on the fireworks. So while they look pretty and colorful, one can't really identify them as fireworks at all! There are no elements, like say the moon or the silhouttes of trees, houses, etc. to give some 'perspective' and show that the fireworks are actually in the sky! As the finale neared and there were multiple glows, I should have also cranked the shutter speed down to less than a second. Too much light pretty much ruined the shots of the final few fireworks.

For what its worth, here are some of my fireworks shots from yesterday night...

9 Comments:

At 9:24 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

July 4th kku barbecueva? How do you guys have the enthu to do all this? Or after becoming parents you have to do all this due to some sort of peer pressure from other parents?

I slept my day off. Legit way to celebrate the brief independence that I get from the monotony that is office :-)

 
At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BBals.. Very cool... Neenga Non-Veg sappada mattingala.. Appadina Thayir Sadam :)
Sandhya

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Karthik Sriram said...

Veggie Barbecue? LOL! Veggie padum padu in US nu oru post ezhudhunga!

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

Beautiful shots Balaji! I Went to watch the fireworks with my coworker and her family, so I forgot my tripod in my car. I was like oh good grief. the firework this year wasn't spectacular, photographywise & just plain display of them this year, so it wasn't such a big loss. but I did get to see it going off over the big bridge and it was so beautiful! It's been a very busy busy week alltogether and come 4th of july i had a nasty headache and all i wanted to do was sleep. haha :)

 
At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, what do you know? We have a budding cinematographer here. Nice shots!

 
At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BBals.. U should try to enter cine field as cameraman.. U definitely have an eye... -- Panneer.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger Bart said...

I happen to be at LA now and got to watch fireworks here too. Didn't capture any wonderful pictures like you did though.
We too had a veggie barbeque the previous day night :)

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Fantastic photo Balaji!! Fantastic.
Canon IS has worked wonders no doubt about it.

 
At 11:04 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

vijay, enthu-va? i thot the bbq was the activity that required the least enthu since we pretty much just relaxed @ home :) nope, absolutely no peer pressure. all our own decision :)

Sandhya, thanx :)

karthik, since i'm in the Bay Area, vegetarian-a apdi onnum paadu illa :)

merino, thanx! coming from an expert photographer like u, thats a great compliment indeed :)

anon/Panneer, idhellaam ungalukke konjam over-a theriyala? :)

bart, namma area-kku vandhuteenga. we couldn't meet when i came to b'lore. so do lemme know if u come to the bay area :)

narayanan, thanx! am indeed very happy with the camera :)

 

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