Sara Park

Tom's Pyro Links Sara Park Public Display Snapshots

These pictures are all shot from the entrance to the B-Rocket area at SARA park on Friday night. This was my first attempt at shooting fireworks using my Minolta DiMAGE-7 camera, and used this primarily as a test for the Saturday Public Display. I was floored with how well these shots came out. All the shots have been modified with PhotoShop.

You have my permission to use these for personal use only. If you use these for other projects/publications, please let me know. (I have higher-res versions for some. Why didn't I post them? You mean an edited 800x?? version is too small?)

Because we can shoot in the late afternoon-early evening, shells will sometimes be shot while there is still light outside. In the desert, this makes for some interesting pictures.

The viewfinders on digital cameras, well, suck. When I took this shot, I thought it was somewhat underexposed. I was surprised when I saw the purple color when I loaded it into the computer. Sometimes you just gotta trust the camera.

Willow type shells sometimes don't photograph well when used with time lapse. The light tends to be weak, and the image will also appear smeared. However, when the shell has some color, this tends to make a very nice picture.

I *think* this is a willow-type ring shell edge on. Otherwise, it just had a strange burst pattern.

Here's an example of a dark (or low-brightness) star. Beautiful red, and our eyes adjust quite readily to dark levels. Cameras can't adjust, and it comes out somewhat muddy. With some fiddling in PhotoShop, it can be rescued.

Here's a FireFly shell that had an uneven burst. The FireFly effect is lost on this type of exposure, but I think it actually makes the picture better.

I had adjusted the camera for more willow/firefly shells, and this one popped up. If you don't know the sequence of events, you'll just have to make due.

A salute was launched at the same time as this shell. Because they burst seperately, they both came out on this exposure. The lens flare works well.

Another willow-type shell with color.

I had adjusted exposures for a willow shell. The purple worked very well with the firefly.

This is actually a cake shot off of the 'Baby-B' area. I kept the shutter open to allow for 3-4 shots. Notice on the right, one streak ends half-way up, and another appears about the same area. This was pure luck. PhotoShop helped to eleminate some of the smoke.

This shell's stars ended very dark. Quite an interesting effect.

This was actually the first shell I photographed where I realized that my camera was fully capable of capturing color. There is almost nothing written about digital photography of fireworks -- I may have to change that.

Here is a half blue/red shell, a couple of salutes, and a willow.

The green really came out on this one. I was very surprised to see this.

A long-hanging kamuro. You can see why this really doesn't work for this kind of shot. The resulting picture turns out very 'soft' (appears out of focus). A quick shot would work much better for this.

Red, white, and blue - but the blue got washed out. Not sure if this was due to the blue star comp or the camera. (Blue shows up well on other shots - suspecting this is a bright-blue.)

Another Baby-B cake. Very interesting.

I believe the stars are lamp-black. Again, very difficult to shoot, unless you are preparred for the shell. If I adjusted to this one shell, all the others would appear washed out.

I love the dandelion-effect from the rising comet effect to the white star core.

This is a single shell - some read inside of willow.

This was part of the Class-C demo shot from the infield. Because I was at the B-Rocket line, I had to shoot across the entire C-Class shooting area. Notice the person walking with a fusee at the bottom of the shot.

More Class-C Demonstration material.

More Class-C demo.

This is probably my favorite of this night. This Class-C demonstration had dragon's eggs in it, so you have the streaky-blue plus white dots. Add to that two helicopters lifting off, the light around the lift-off area, a fusee, and people walking around -- pretty much says it all for what goes on here. Add to that the rockets, the vending, the food, the shells, the seminars - and you got Winter Blast.

The last time this page was tinkered with was on 12/26/2009
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