- Our country turned 237 two weeks ago and no city celebrates our collective birthday with as much verve as Boston. The 4th of July concert at the Charles River Hatch Shell has been an institution in the city since Arthur Fiedler began them in 1930. Over the years, the fireworks display over the Charles River basin has been synced to the concert with the 1812 overture, complete with cannon fire signaling the beginning of the dazzling fireworks display. It’s estimated that 800,000 people are at the event each year.
- The trick in capturing good fireworks images is to adjust the exposure so that the camera lens is open long enough to capture he streaming light that each fired shell produces. My experience is that this is usually 2-4 seconds.
- The shells fired from a barge in the middle of the river send a dance of colors shooting across the sky to the delight of hundreds of thousands of onlookers.
- In many ways shooting fireworks displays is no different from making images of other subjects. The main subject of this photograph are the bursts of light but almost equally important is the background. Those sparkling streaks of light look infinitely more interesting when they are displayed against an urban backdrop.
- Among the 800,000 onlookers were those who piloted their boats into the Charles River Basin. Many had a leisurely day on the river, a nice dinner on the back of their craft and a prime location for the light display as darkness overtook the event.
- Here,the contrails from the firing of the shells are visible as the shells burst into a dazzling graphical display of light. The city sets up large speakers in many of the areas surrounding the event so that the spectators can hear the Boston Pops orchestra playing while the fireworks explode.
- Once again, the background adds context and texture so that the viewer of the image is able to place the bursts of light into the proper perspective.
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