Sunday, July 04, 2010

Camera crazy

Last night I was as goofy as a kid on a candy high. I found out that the nearby country club was going to shoot off fireworks and that we should have an incredible view of them from our house.

I love fireworks. Just love 'em. And as a bonus, I decided to try to photograph them.

I pulled out a "shooting fireworks" article that I had saved in my photography tip book. The article was by Candice Stringham and it was written for the July 2008 Creating Keepsakes magazine. I set my camera on a tripod, switched to manual focus and set the aperture at f/16. I hunted up my camera manual to see how to set my camera for the "bulb" shutter speed setting per the article instructions.

I ended up at a f/11 aperture and captured over 30 fun-filled shots. Karen was tickled at hearing my little gasps of delight at both watching the fireworks and shooting them. I won't bore you with all 30 pictures (although I kind of want to), instead I'll give you four of my favorites.





I don't know if it was all of the excitement or too much coffee or what but I had horrible insomnia last night. This morning, as I slogged out of bed, I didn't know if I had the energy to take Kylie to the beach like I normally do on Sunday mornings. But I managed to get us both ready. I was certain that I didn't feel like taking the camera with us. But something niggled at me and I ended up putting the camera into our stroller.

When I stepped out of our door, I could hear the waves crashing--really crashing loudly. As we walked toward the ocean I saw a larger-than-usual amount of surfers speed by. I thought to myself, "Wow, if the waves are doing that, I wonder if we are going to be able to play." When we walked over the bridge to the ocean, I was half expecting to tell Kylie that we would have to go home. Instead, I saw the most incredible sky.

A breath-taking sky.

And the sand was so reflective it seemed that Kylie was walking on clouds.
And I thanked the heavens that I had my camera.

There was tons of seafoam (or sea bubbles as Kylie calls them) and within the foam there were all these amazing colors. I ran around like crazy taking pictures of it.

And then Kylie and I found this little guy.

A surfer dude was walking by right when Kylie was asking, "What is it? What is it?" So I said, "Hey Surfer Dude! Do you know what this is?" Surfer dude picked it right up and said, "I think it is a jellyfish but it won't sting ya." We exchanged "Wow, cools!" I got brave and touched the little thing and then held it up to the sky for a shot.

Then I asked him if he knew what these things were.
He laughed and said he had no clue but they were everywhere this morning. He speculated they were sucker-like aliens sent to destroy humankind. I laughed and backed slowly away from the surfer dude.

After he left, I felt brave again and picked one up. So if any of my readers know what this is, please let me know. It felt like a membrane or like fish-skin.

After picking up various beach things and photographing them avidly, I noticed that many of my beach-combing neighbors sitting in their nearby beach chairs were looking at me funny. Sort of a "what-the-heck-is-she-doing" and "why-is-she-so-excited" look on their faces.

I smiled and took a few more shots of Kylie and a few shots of the hunky lifeguard and burly runners.

The beach-combers smiled and nodded their heads as if they were thinking, "Oh she's all right then."

I chuckled softly to myself and thought, "Dudes, you have no idea."


Cara said...

Holy Moly, that is a breathtaking shot of your daughter on the beach. Did you use any specific settings? Sadly, I still shoot on automatic. Happy Fourth of July too!

Louise said...

Wow, fabulous photos of the fireworks! I have such a crappy camera, I had no idea that these sorts of pictures were even possible!

Sorry, no clue on your beach creatures! But, nice legs on the lifeguard!

Happy 4th of July!

Heather said...

wow, what an amazing picture of your baby girl! So, so awesome.

I lived in Florida when I was younger and those are jelly fish! We use to call them baby jelly fish (not sure if they are really babies), but we use to pick them up and collect them all the time!! I'm not sure what the other things are?? Maybe they are eggs from hatching sea turtles??? Or pieces of a shell from a horseshoe crab or something... Looks like fun hunting for cool findings on the beach!

Stacey said...

Very cool shots. Love the sky reflection ones.

Maybe those things are pieces of coral plants?

Wendy and Karen said...

Hi Cara,
Thanks for your comment. I used manual for the beach shots with the aperture at f/11 - f/13 and a high shutter speed (around 640) to catch the action.

I'm a better Lightroom user and Photoshop user than photographer and almost all of the photos you see here on the blog have been tweaked to some degree. Tweaking is fun for me!

Kerry Lynn said...

jam packed with fabulous photos! maybe I should have read a tutorial on shooting fireworks before I tried.

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