Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy 4th of July - Share Your Fireworks Shots

Portland Fireworks 2012 - Click to see full gallery

Happy belated 4th of July everyone! I’ve been out sick so I wasn’t able to blog or enjoy the fireworks this year. However, I did dig up some unprocessed fireworks shots from Portland, Oregon taken last year.

These were taken from a hotel room with a limited view and sadly I was on the 2nd floor so I couldn’t get any water reflections in the shot. However, I was lucky to have a nice orange moon in the shots to add a little something extra.

For those who are wondering, these were shot with a Canon 5D Mark III in bulb mode on a Gitzo GT1541 tripod using a Canon TC-80n3 trigger for a variable number of seconds (2.1 – 3.5 sec) based on what I saw. All were at f/11 at ISO 100 and either 80mm or 110mm using my 70-200mm lens.

This was actually my first time ever shooting fireworks with a DSLR so I have lots of things I’d do differently if I had a do over. The only processing was in Lightroom.

Show Me Your Fireworks Shots

For those who got some great shots of fireworks this year, share them with me on my Facebook, Google+, or Flickr pages so I can enjoy your awesome shots!

Editing Recommendation


For those looking for an easy way to give your images some oomph, I suggest Topaz Adjust and it’s Color Blast, Dynamic Brightness, Spicify or "HDR - Sketch" presets as a good place to start. In the image above I used a customized version or Color Blast that might be a little too warm for some, but that’s easy to adjust (no pun intended) in Adjust. One tip though is to edit your images using the sRGB color space so you won’t be surprised when you save your images as JPEG for the web. Adjust also seems to prefer sRGB whereas the other Topaz products work fine in any color space or bit depth.

Color Efex users will appreciate the Tonal Contrast filter as a good starting point for one click enhancements, and onOne Perfect Effects users will want to start with the “Increase Color”, “Turbo Boost”, or “Rich Glow” effects.

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