Pacifica Sidewalk Fireworks – 2010 (Photos)

Goals for this shoot:

This was the second year that we had a chance to watch and photograph the “safe and sane” street-level fireworks in Pacifica. Last year the noise right outside the door was quite a surprise, but since I’m never really all that far from my camera we ran out and got some good ones [Pacifica Street Fireworks – 2009 (28 photos)]. Before heading out this year I tried to remember all the camera and lens settings I used last year, and to try to get some specific ideas.

  • glimmer on the street below the flashes
  • vibrant color
  • subtle light
  • more people!
  • scale – these fireworks are small. Like fierce house cats, not tigers.
  • Ordinary-ness, sense of place
  • Tried to cut the total number of pictures I’d take and post to Flickr

Next Time

  • use a shutter release. I have one, just didn’t think to use it
  • more photographers and spectators. More people!
  • possibly hang with one group
  • shoot into the smoke. This time I was almost always to the side and the consistency of perspective is a little boring.
  • get closer. Under the fireworks. Use a wide angle lens and prop the front of the lens on a small block of wood to look up into the fountain.
  • try longer exposures, 1.5 seconds and longer. Don’t bother with exposures shorter than 1/80th of a second.
  • try the Lensbaby lens? Not sure… I like the amazing crispness of the streamers and sparks contrasting with the smoke. Maybe with apertures, but could be too cute.

Summary of Settings

All photos were captured on a Canon 5D Mark II on a tripod in manual mode, using autofocus, with a EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM zoom lens (image stabilization disabled) with the aperture set at f/5.6. Generally the ISO speed rating was set to ISO 100. Photos were captured between about 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM on July 4, 2010. I selected 43 out of the roughly 260 I took. I selected images for mostly subjective reasons, that were interesting, pretty, meaningful. My standards for crispness may not be yours – the lack of crispness of boxes and stuff on the ground doesn’t bother me at all.

I was curious if there was a pattern in the shutter speed of the images I selected. These charts show that I tended to prefer 1/2 second exposures, and only used only 3 images with exposures longer than 1/25th of a second.

Individual Photo Settings

Image

Title
Filename

Focal Length Shutter Aperture ISO Time Distance

Sidewalk Fountain
in Pacifica

_MG_5278.jpg

235.0 mm 1/4 5.6 100 9:02:17 PM 18.1 m

Patriotic Display

_MG_5282.jpg

400.0 mm 1/6 5.6 100 9:02:27 PM 22.8 m

Black and White Blazing
Rebel Fountain

_MG_5283.jpg

400.0 mm 0.4 5.6 100 9:02:31 PM 22.8 m

Coast-side Wind

_MG_5284.jpg

400.0 mm 0.5 5.6 100 9:02:33 PM 22.8 m

Streamers and Spiders

_MG_5290.jpg

400.0 mm 1/6 5.6 100 9:03:49 PM 22.8 m

Tumbling Stars

_MG_5296.jpg

400.0 mm 0.6 5.6 100 9:04:02 PM 22.8 m

Slice of Cake

_MG_5304.jpg

115.0 mm 1/10 5.6 100 9:05:38 PM 7.42 m

Bangs and Flashes

_MG_5308.jpg

235.0 mm 1/13 5.6 100 9:05:58 PM 7.42 m

Spray in Black and White

_MG_5309.jpg

235.0 mm 1/10 5.6 100 9:05:59 PM 8.36 m

Nike Guy Having Fun

_MG_5322.jpg

100.0 mm 1/8 5.6 100 9:07:01 PM 9.44 m

Noisy Swoop

_MG_5333.jpg

105.0 mm 1/5 5.6 100 9:08:51 PM 12.6 m

Question Marked

_MG_5334.jpg

300.0 mm 1/5 5.6 100 9:08:57 PM 12.6 m

Green Lightning

_MG_5345.jpg

120.0 mm 0.5 5.6 100 9:09:51 PM 10.8 m

Fire Tree

_MG_5357.jpg

115.0 mm 1/5 5.6 100 9:11:25 PM 12.6 m

Center Light, Dim

_MG_5396.jpg

235.0 mm 1/40 5.6 100 9:13:34 PM 10.8 m

Tiger, new and spent

_MG_5442.jpg

330.0 mm 1/20 5.6 100 9:15:59 PM 10.8 m

Jet Burst

_MG_5443.jpg

330.0 mm 1/20 5.6 100 9:16:01 PM 12.6 m

Fire, Clouds, Wind, Fog =
Fireworks at the Coast

_MG_5447.jpg

160.0 mm 1/20 5.6 100 9:16:08 PM 10.8 m

Tender

_MG_5448.jpg

160.0 mm 1/8 5.6 100 9:16:11 PM 10.8 m

Wind Tossed

_MG_5472.jpg

400.0 mm 1/13 5.6 100 9:17:47 PM 14.9 m

Violet, Green,
Red, Orange

_MG_5494.jpg

210.0 mm 1/10 5.6 100 9:19:24 PM 14.9 m

A Little Past 2

_MG_5528.jpg

100.0 mm 0.3 5.6 100 9:21:55 PM 12.6 m

Fire Dance

_MG_5530.jpg

100.0 mm 0.3 5.6 100 9:22:39 PM 14.9 m

Downwind

_MG_5535.jpg

100.0 mm 1/6 5.6 100 9:22:51 PM 12.6 m

Preparations

_MG_5557.jpg

100.0 mm 1.6 5.6 3200 9:26:05 PM 18.1 m

Fire, Fog and Light

_MG_5569.jpg

190.0 mm 0.4 5.6 400 9:29:22 PM 18.1 m

Lights and Lit

_MG_5570.jpg

190.0 mm 0.4 5.6 400 9:29:24 PM 18.1 m

Corkscrews

_MG_5597.jpg

130.0 mm 0.5 5.6 100 9:32:11 PM 14.9 m

Golden Hay

_MG_5599.jpg

160.0 mm 0.5 5.6 100 9:32:15 PM 14.9 m

Abstract – Dashes

_MG_5604.jpg

160.0 mm 1/25 5.6 100 9:32:23 PM 18.1 m

Abstract – Wind

_MG_5605.jpg

340.0 mm 1/25 5.6 100 9:32:24 PM 18.1 m

Explosive Gold

_MG_5608.jpg

340.0 mm 1/25 5.6 100 9:32:29 PM 18.1 m

Lens Flare Ghost

_MG_5641.jpg

100.0 mm 1/4 5.6 100 9:36:46 PM 14.9 m

Fire Flower

_MG_5781.jpg

220.0 mm 0.5 5.6 100 9:51:33 PM 14.9 m

Feather Duster

_MG_5792.jpg

210.0 mm 1/4 5.6 100 9:52:46 PM 18.1 m

Fire Stack

_MG_5811.jpg

100.0 mm 1/5 5.6 100 9:54:16 PM 14.9 m

Abstract – Fire and Flash

_MG_5817.jpg

220.0 mm 1/80 5.6 100 9:54:56 PM 18.1 m

Fountain Pops 1

_MG_5825.jpg

220.0 mm 1/6 5.6 100 9:55:05 PM 18.1 m

Fountain Pops 2

_MG_5830.jpg

340.0 mm 1/13 5.6 100 9:55:25 PM 22.8 m

Abstract – Fire

_MG_5857.jpg

340.0 mm 1/50 5.6 100 9:56:13 PM 22.8 m

Looking UP

_MG_5864.jpg

340.0 mm 1/50 5.6 100 9:57:08 PM 18.1 m

Zot – BANG

_MG_5866.jpg

340.0 mm 1/15 5.6 100 9:57:13 PM 18.1 m

Camera Play

_MG_5921.jpg

100.0 mm 1/6 5.6 100 10:06:30 PM 12.6 m

Links

4 Responses to Pacifica Sidewalk Fireworks – 2010 (Photos)

  1. Pingback: Pacifica Sidewalk Fireworks – 2010 (Photo metadata)

  2. Tim Brand says:

    Great photos Chris! I especially appreciate the data on the settings you used.
    Thanks for doing it all!
    Tim

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Tim. I made a note of the settings because I found them through trial and error, and so that I could easily find them next year!

  3. Pingback: Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade

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