Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fresh Water & Fireworks

For the Fourth of July weekend this year, I returned to the land of the greatest of lakes.  Although I've traveled to a lot of cool places, there really is not anything that can compare to a day on a clean, sandy Lake Michigan beach.

Spending time on the water kayaking was relaxing as always.  The water was so still and clear that I was able to see the shattered wooden remnants of an old boat wreck several hundred yards off the shoreline (no pictures because I thought I might drop my phone in the water).  However, in Michigan there is always a catch - water that still and clear is usually c-o-l-d and the water temperature was about 52 degrees Fahrenheit (about 11 degrees Celsius).  I dove under anyway but popped out pretty quickly and decided that in-water activity was best in the kayak.

As the day ended, I tried my hand at another Lake Michigan sunset time lapse.  I've got to be more patient and not move the camera halfway through the shot, but otherwise it definitely turned out better than my first attempt last autumn.  It would be great to luck out with a clear sky and try again sometime.

Once the sun dipped behind the haze, I headed back to the city just in time to catch some fireworks with friends.  The show started just as I was finished passing through buildings along the way to our spot.  The echos between the buildings on the empty street were so intense it felt like the explosions were happening right next to us.

I still had my camera and tripod with me so I experimented with shooting fireworks for the first time.  I read this post from DIYPhotography on the way from the lake, but this post and this post are also helpful.  As always, National Geographic has amazing photos and tips as well.  I used Manual Focus, shutter speed of 6 seconds for the fireworks show (13-15 seconds for sparklers in the woods), and an aperture of about F8 (I think).  For a first attempt, I was pleased with the shots.

I also played around with some shots with longer exposures in the woods at night with some sparklers.  The designs also turned out pretty cool, and I'm looking forward to playing around more with these types of shots.  All in all, a wonderful relaxing day.  I hope you enjoyed the holiday too!

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