There’s no fire(works) without fire!

Here in the UK we have just celebrated Bonfire Night.  It’s when we have fun with fire and with fireworks.  The fireworks we ordinary folks can buy these days are quite tame, so it’s best to go to an organised display.  Their fireworks are much bigger and much nosier!  Bigger fireworks are better for photography too.

"Air burst 1"

“Air burst 1”

I set my camera to a shutter speed of about 0.6 seconds, to give good movement, and an aperture of f6.3 to give a reasonable of depth field.  There’s no need for flash of course, as fireworks have their own light source.  I wasn’t sure where the fireworks would be in the sky, so I pre-focused on a light about as far away as I thought they would be, and then set my camera to manual focus.

"Air burst 2"

“Air burst 2”

The white trails fill the sky, and here I was lucky with the colour of the starburst.  The red contrasts well with the white.

"Green bonfire flames"

“Green bonfire flames”

It’s important not to neglect the bonfire.  We don’t often get a chance to see such big fires, and they seem to take on a life of their own.  This fire developed some interesting greeny-yellow flames which I isolated with a 300mm (equivalent) zoom lens.  In a previous life, as an analytical chemist, I did “flame tests” to determine the elements present.  I recall that an apple-green colour was caused by barium, and that yellow-green was caused by manganese or molybdenum.  No chance to check here!

There will be more fireworks at New Year, so remember to take your camera.

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