Shooting in the dark: Fireworks and light trails

I love it when I learn, and I did learn when we went to shoot fireworks. I had good luck when using my old point and shoot by putting it on a special setting. It did all the thinking. When I tried to shoot fireworks with my D3100 it was a mess. I just didn’t know how to set the camera and I didn’t have a tripod.

Fast forward a year and a half, Shoot Or Go Home Meetup group is going the shoot fireworks–A chance to learn. Our local minor league baseball team, the RiverĀ Cats, have fireworks after their home games. We used the Tower Bridge to set the stage and waited. During that time, Mary, the group’s organizer, gave us a lessonĀ on how to get the best images.

And then they started. We were all anxiously pressing down the shutter button. The show was short and we did our best. I was happy with what I got. What I was not happy with was my camera’s processing length. With a short show, every second of processing time seemed like minutes.

Afterwards, we went to capture some light trails. Since I’ve done that before, I was able to help two other women succeed. So the student became the teacher!

I do love both teaching and learning.

Operating on slow shutter speed: Sunrise Mall, Citrus Heights and Old Roseville

Slow Shutter Speed, that’s the name of this blog. Why? When I began this passion, I was overwhelmed with all of it. I had a feeling that this was going to be a long journey and thought that name was fitting. Of course now, it has another meaning for me: using slow shutter speed to blur objects, create abstracts and to shoot at night.

I love shooting lights at night, playing with the zoom and blurring the motion of whatever I’m shooting. So, when I heard there was a small carnival at a local mall, I took my camera and tripod down there. I had a blast, especially when people stopped and asked me whether I was from a newspaper or magazine! I’m not ready for that, but it was nice to be asked that question.

Then, a couple of nights later, I went to Old Roseville to shoot the two theaters on Vernon Street. Again, I wanted to capture the marquee and play with the zoom effect.

I’m still learning on “slow shudder speed,” but I feel like I’m not taking snapshots any longer.

Oh that “M” word again: Shooting manual at Treasure Island, San Franscisco

I am determined to learn how to shoot photos on manual. Why? Because I think it will give me greater control over my camera. Once I have it mastered, I’m not sure I will use it all the time. It really comes down to how much time you have to make that shot. Aperture or shutter priority allows you to shoot more quickly. But for my visit to Treasure Island, I shot on manual. And it did take time, patience and a lot of bad images to get the good ones.

The big factor we were all struggling with was wind. The water was choppy and things just weren’t at a stand still. The second disappointment was that the Bliss Dance sculpture did not light up that evening. Some of the photographers light painted the statute, but by then, I was too tired. We all did our best and got some great images.

And, looking at the other photographers images is a learning experience. Since we are all shooting the same thing, it’s interesting to see the composition you missed or didn’t even see. You can also give yourself kudos for your own unique composition of the same thing.

There’s a lot of things I’m determined to learn in addition to shooting manual, and it will all come in time!