4th of July Fireworks Show

2010-07-07T22:03:15.343-07:00

The 4th of July has long been one of my favorite holidays. Night time lights, blowing stuff up, a large variety of various meats to eat, what is not to love? There was one thing I always used to miss out on though. The large firework show. Now my family moved around more than most Midwest families at the time. I lived in an extremely small town from birth till I was seven and in that town the 4th of July was HUGE. Starting in late June, the whole town would start to get decked out with little American flags and banners, people would plant red, white, and blue pansies and even go so far as to change the soil acidity in their gardens so that their hydrangeas would change into a more patriotic colors. The whole thing would end with a local fireworks show put on by the fire department on the only hill in town, which also happened to be the cemetery. It was a surreal experience growing up or more accurately, it is a surreal experience to look back upon. However after we moved to a slightly larger town when I was way through my 2nd grade year, I found out that they had one of the largest firework shows in the Northeast of Nebraska, and at the time, I believe, in the Midwest (it has shrunk over the years). I thought for sure that we would go to it. Not the case... I never really found out what my parents had against the extravaganza, or me personally... but they would never take me to it or let me go with friends. Either way, I didn't see my first big firework show until I was well into my teens. After that I tried to make it a goal to go every year because it was, and is, really great. This year I made it back to the town and with my new camera I was able to get some good shots of the experience. I hope you enjoy!


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The crowd starts to gather. The show takes place over a man made lake and parking is provided in some of the fields in the surrounding fields as well as all of the streets for several blocks around. The lake is right in the middle of a residential area. There are all taken from the back porch of one of the residents around the lake. Yes I know them... I didn't just show up...

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This is new. I have never seen emergency lighting set up. Looks kind of lonely. It is rather surprising, in past years the whole field and then some would have been filled up even early in the day. This was taken shortly before the show and its not even full yet. I imagine its because they slowly started downsizing the show as the town kind of started hitting an economic slump in the early 2000's.

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Almost time for the show.


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Checking camera settings, making sure lights are still showing up.


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Looks good. The show always starts off with "star salutes" where they name off the sponsors categorized by how many stars they get which is obviously tied to how much they give. The largest sponsor is always one of the main industries in the town Nucor. It is one of those old school companies where people tend to work for life and for generations and in return they are pretty good to their employees and the towns they set up shop in.


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I was really happy with the results I was getting. This was the first time I ever got firework photos to turn out... then again this was also the first time I had a decent camera to try it with.


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Ok I am going to drop off for a bit and let you just enjoy the pics.


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Ok.. so I have to comment on this one... now this isn't a particularly good photo.. however it looks a bit like the flying spagetti monster.. so I had to have it in the group.


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Ok heading into the finale now.

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I know what your thinking... "Doesn't look like much of a finale..." here is the thing, several of these were "twinkling" fireworks which even on extended exposure were difficult to pick up and even if I adjusted my settings for a longer exposure it would have been fuzzier and not looked as crisp.

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A few more ground things.

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There, now it's looking like a finale.

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The final part is always set the the 1812 Overture as the show is called "The Big Bang Boom" and this is the the signature "Big Bang Boom" part.

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It was at this point that the show was getting bright enough that I would have to adjust my camera settings to capture it. Rather than miss it fumbling round with my settings I just recorded it on video. Please ignore the giggling, we were all joking about the people who were leaving... during the best part of the show just to get home on time...





It was a great show, and quite possibly one of the last ones I will go to so I wanted to record it. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and if you are curious about my camera settings here they are.

F-Stop: F9 
ISO: 100 
Exposure Time: 3 Seconds 
Focus: Infinity

I had originally planned on showing you what my families 4th of July looks like as well.. but they are getting on in years so I ended up being put to work right when I got there and ended up setting up and setting off all the fireworks etc... which made it hard to take a moment to take pictures. That and my Mom always got this mixed look of admiration and jealousy whenever I get out my D90 as she is a bit of a camera nerd herself but can't live for months on ramen like I can to afford one. :P

Maybe next year :).




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