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Friday Slide Show: 'Fireworks' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

3 July 2015

OK, they're not really fireworks. That's why we put the word in quotes. But we have a case to make here. All you have to do is look out our window to see it. The fog.

'Fireworks'. Everything but the bang.

Every Fourth of July we have the same foreboding. Will the fog roll in and ruin the show? Will all those fireworks shooting up from barges in the bay explode unnoticed above "the marine layer" known as fog that chills the blinded crowd below?


So this year we decided to create an alternative fireworks show for fellow fog-bound Fourth fun-seekers.

It was easy. We just took a short walk around the neighborhood with the Nikon D200 across our shoulders with the Peak Design shoulder strap we recently reviewed and an f2.8 35mm Nikkor.

Everything we saw looked like fireworks exploding.

The real work was in post production. It was, you might have guessed, a foggy day when we captured these images so they were pretty flat. Our usual bump in Clarity and Shadow adjustment didn't quite cut it.

We had to nudge Contrast up a bit and get Saturation to lean a little more into the image before we thought they looked like explosions. We didn't overdo it but we didn't feel restricted by reality either.

We were only halfway there, though.

When you see a fireworks show, the explosions aren't in one place but at different heights and over the width of a staging area. That keeps you awake.

But we decided our show would be more effective if we broke all those rules and kept the images centered in a square format.


Because our photos don't explode. They just sit there, content in the knowledge that whether or not it's foggy, you can see them perfectly well.

So to give the illusion of a series of explosions, we keep your eye on the center of a square frame as each permutation of an explosion pops over the last.

Pop, pop, pop.

All you really need is some spiral dogs and a little John Philips Souza to complete the effect. But we'll leave that up to you.

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