The Obligatory Fourth of July Fireworks Photos

Fig. 1, BANG.
I love fireworks. They're loud, dangerous, and utterly pointless.

Fireworks are the perfect monkey toy. Which means every July 4 you'll find me at Oxford's fireworks show.

This year was no different. I took my tripod and my Finepix, and while most of the images I shot are, to be blunt, crap, I got a few I'll share here.

Photographing fireworks is easy -- if you have a few thousand dollars of camera gear. If, like me, you sport a Walmart tripod and a camera that's nice but not incredibly fast, then fireworks photography is more a matter of luck than skill. If I have the shutter open at the precise moment a charge explodes, I'll get a good pic. If the luminance of the firework is bright enough to be detailed but not bright enough to wash out the image, then I'll get a good pic.

That's not what happens most of the time. Of the 300 or so pictures I took, most of them looked like the one below -- close, but no cigar.

A fraction of a second later, and this might have been a stunning image. Same with the one below.

But this why you just have to keep clicking away. You'll get lucky, sooner or later, and catch shots like the one below.

Or this.

So last night I took around 300 pictures, and have 3 or 4 to show for it.

But that's how it goes.

I'm glad writing isn't that way. Although sometimes I do wonder -- if I was offered a deal in which I was guaranteed 4 pages of timeless, perfect prose for every 300 pages I wrote, would I take the deal?

After some reflection, I probably would.

And then I'd sit down and type really really fast.

The books won during the contest will go out this week! Thanks everyone for playing.

And remember, folks -- blowing stuff up for little or no apparent reason is a pretty good way to summarize the entire 20th century and what we've seen of the 21st. Let's all hope one day we can give up all the explosives except the fireworks.

Now that would be something to celebrate.