Blow Stuff Up Day

July 5th, 2021

Here I am!

Boy, I’m really crankin’ out the photographic/creative work this year, now aren’t I?!

Yeah well anyway…

So, this weekend having just ended, is (one of) the annual days where ‘Murica likes to blow shit up, and so did my annual photographing of them.

Kayak On Shore At Sunset

Kayak On Shore At Sunset

For the third year in a row, the place I went to do so, was at this lake community, where they all pool in some money and hit the fireworks stands and load up with one hell of a haul… this year, it amounted to sixty-five hundred buckaroos worth of fireworks… they don’t fuck around… and it shows, as they put on one heck of a good show for everyone.

It’s manned by the Pyro Crew, consisting of a smattering of gentleman who live at the lake, and put the show on every year – consolidating funds, purchasing the goods, storing the goods until the day of, and then hauling them out to an island in the middle of the lake, prepping and setting them all up, and come showtime, the ones who light them all off.

The first year, I remained on shore, right across from where they shoot them off, and that ended up being entirely too close… well, perfect for viewing, but disastrous for shooting, as it was literally almost right above me, and didn’t have anything wide enough in order to capture it fully.  Year two, last year, went a lot better, and is the best year, of the three, in capturing the show, as I ventured over to a dike on the opposite side, and set up from there, with a greater distance between me and staging place they shoot off, so as to better capture it all.

This year, I wanted to try an adjacent island to the east of the island they shoot off from, to which I was kindly lent a kayak to navigate myself over to, arriving right at dusk, seen to the left here.

Turns out, this was a hair too close of a locale also, as I was not able to capture the entire scene in which I was wanting to… next year, I want to do the same spot, as it is ideal, but will just have to acquire a wider lens in order to do so… which is in the cards for me to do anyway… so, should be fine come then.

To the right, a shot from not too long after they started, kinda sorta shows why I like the spot, because one can incorporate the reflections in the lake, to which this shot illustrates the too tight of an angle, to include the nice view of the island with water to the front and sides of it, and then being able to get the height coverage in the sky to get the fireworks as well… to paraphrase Brody – gonna need a wider lens.

Well anyway, the tight angle lead me to this year not acquiring the best of anything in capturing the show for them, in that I wasn’t myself adequately equipped to shoot it all from that tight of a field of view… again, next year, will hopefully fair a lot better.

Also, really didn’t get any shots that I am particularly fond of… really a bit of a letdown, especially after last year garnered some shots that I really liked and am proud of.

The two immediately below, are about as close to anything I think are okay… then the two below that, not really even worthy for me to even include here… but, just goes to show, that at this point, I was growing weary and tired of shooting fireworks, if I am to be honest.

I mean, I have now photographed fireworks ( chromatically and achromatically ), almost yearly, for a dozen and half years, and like a lot of my looking to photograph anything else around this current locale that I am, it all just comes down to a ‘been there, done that’, sort of thing.  Shooting the same ol’ thing over and over, things lose their appeal.

I had been trying to do an old style of shooting, of defocusing during exposure, to create images I first did around seven years ago, that I liked, and would like to create more of… but, the damn Fuji!  I swear, I really try, and want, to like the new Fuji X-Pro3 that I got last Spring… but, it just really pisses me off more often than not.  I did try doing the same defocusing trick last year when I was shooting the fireworks, but discovered, that it would not do so during exposure.  I thought afterwards, my still being new to the camera at the time, that I had just done something wrong, and thought I had just forgot to switch the focusing to manual mode, or something… but, no, that wasn’t it, and had it switched to manual focus, and could see that I was visibly adjusting the focus in live view… but still, somehow during the length of the one second exposure, the camera must just as some kind of bloody safety thing, disengage – I don’t know what! because the focus cannot be adjusted during exposure!  Irritating the hell out of me.

Where It All Happens

Where It All Happens

Call To Arms

Call To Arms

Fireworks Minimalism

Fireworks Minimalism

Chromatic Fireworks

2021 Chromatic Fireworks II

Chromatic Fireworks II

After getting those blah images above… as well as having become frustrated with not being able to do what I was wanting to do with my camera… as I said, grew bored and tired, and so noticed the kayak I had rode over on, sitting on the shore, the fireworks being reflected in the lake behind it, and so focused on that the rest of the fireworks.

Shored Kayak, Fireworks Reflection

Shored Kayak, Fireworks Reflection

Shored Kayak, Fireworks Reflection II

Shored Kayak, Fireworks Reflection II

And then went and sat myself in the image, to get this little self-portraiture shot of me watching them.  Which I have now made the site’s greeting image, only because I have shot absolute shit this year, and to replace the lead-in image I had that still had snow in it! because I haven’t shot anything else to replace it with yet!  So, will just it as an, at least, more seasonable, placeholder until I can get a better image to greet visitors to the site.

So, that is it.

Yeah, really need to step it up some, if this is all I have after like a couple months of absence!  I have been out and shooting… and those images can be seen on my Twitter account… just don’t feel I have shot anything worthwhile, that warrants it being put on the site here… even these here, I don’t know if any will make it out of the Journal here, to the Photography section… the Call To Arms maybe…

Just gotta keep doin’… gettin’ back into the groove.

Wishin’ you all well, and hoping you are doing well, are happy and healthy.  All the best to you.

Watchin' The Fireworks Show

Watchin' The Fireworks Show


  • P says:

    That’s a shame that you’re not loving the Fuji. These modern cameras can definitely be bloody annoying. If you’re lucky you reach a stalemate, like in a long bad marriage, Nice shots!

    • JPH says:

      When I got it last Spring, it was between it and Nikon’s Z something or other mirrorless… and the only reason I jumped the Nikon ship, as I had been a Nikon man for nearly 20 years at that point, up to my last one the D700, that I felt was the best camera for me (wanted to go lighter and smaller), I decided to do this whole full circle thing and go with the Fuji, as it was the first camera I had that I learned photography on…

      Anyway, before I start babblin’ and ramblin’… I only really went with the Fuji mostly because it was a couple hundred dollars cheaper… not the only deciding factor, but a major one.

      The Fuji is just so convoluted! I mean come on! I just simply want to bloody shoot and take pictures! I don’t care about film simulations, and all these half billion bells and whistles… just let me shoot and do what I want to do!

      So, I don’t know… I do like the camera… but, don’t feel it’s an extension of me, like the D700 was. Maybe the Fuji will get there some day as being so… will see.

      Anyway, thanks, Paul. I disagree with ya’ on the “nice shots”… one or two of them have grown on me… but, thanks.

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