Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Photograph Fireworks on 4th of July

 4th of July is coming up and everybody's been asking me: "How do you photograph fireworks?"


Well, first of all, you have to make sure that your camera is capable of photographing fireworks. You guys know me, you know that I take most all of my photography with my camera phone, but, let me tell you, a camera phone is not sufficient to photograph fireworks. To be able to photograph fireworks you don't necessarily need an expensive SLR like the one I have in the video, but you do need a camera that has a good manual mode where you can set both the aperature and the shutter together.

Now, to be able to film fireworks effectively, you're going to need a tripod. Your first and most primary piece of equipment is a tripod. You can get them for about $20 at Amazon, you can get nicer ones more expensively. You want to make sure that your tipod is in a good position with a good view of where the fireworks are going to be. You want to be up against the rail if you can be. Either that or be way in the back up a hill where you're going to be over top of people's heads.

You set up your tripod there and make sure your tripod is nice and level. Figure out where the fireworks are going to be shot off from and point your camera that way. Like, in Tahoe we shoot off our fireworks from Nevada Beach so I'm pointint my camera towards Nevada Beach. You square up a nice, level shot of where the fireworks are and zoom in so that the fireworks area is framed nicely in your camera.

Camera Settings:

Now you want to set your camera to manual mode. Set your aperature to f8, set your ISO to 200, and then you want to be varying your shutter speed as you take the pictures. Now, how long your shutter speed goes for is going to determine what your picture looks like. If you do a shutter speed of half a second that's going to capture one, or maybe a couple of bursts of fireworks in a nice clear single frame. If you extend your exposure to 1 second, 2 seconds, all the way up to 5 seconds (you may need to stop down to a smaller aperature if you're filming for 5 seconds); you're going to get more and more bursts of fireworks in any single frame.

So, if you're looking to get a bunch of fireworks like the climax of a fireworks display, go with a 3-5 second exposure with an aperature of f10-14;

if you want to get a single firework or a couple of fireworks go with a half second exposure with an aperature of f8.

Make sure that you either have a cable relase, or if you are doing it just with the camera's shutter button that you push your camera button quickly and release it as quickly as you can because if your hand shakes while it's on the button you're going to ruin whichever picture you're taking. Take lots of pictures over the course of the fireworks display. You can adjust your zoom to zoom out to get a large shot, say if the fireworks are high; or you can zoom in to just a single firework and take a quick exposure to get that single firework in the sky look.

Shooting Fireworks on Video

Now, if you're going to be filming video of fireworks, video can actually be a lot easier. Again, you need a good video camera to be able to shoot fireworks effectively. Most any consumer HD camcorder will work. Set the camera either to fireworks mode if it has a dedicated fireworks mode (check your camera manual) because if your camera has a dedicated fireworks mode that will do all the settings for you. Otherwise have your camcorder on night mode on a tripod and just set up your camcorder to look at the fireworks: set it, turn it on, run it for the whole fireworks display, turn it off at the end. Just make sure that nobody bumps your tripod, because, really, the best fireworks display on video is the one that doesn't have bumps in the middle that you have to take out.

If you want stills from your video, you can take your video into an editing suite like Adobe Premiere and capture stills: Just import the video into Premiere, put the video on the timeline, play through to the frame you want, pause, and click on the little camera icon under the editing screen.

They won't look as smooth as stills from an SLR, but you will at least be able to get nice clear stills, and because it's video you'll be able to choose what frame rather than have to put up with whatever your camera happened to capture when you were pressing the button.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 2013 concerts in Tahoe: Steve Miller Band, Tahoe Reggae Festival

May 29-Jun 02 Bob Zany / Zan AufderHeide @ Improv at Harvey's
June 01-02 Valhalla Rennaisance Faire @ Camp Richardson
June 01  Highway 50 Wagon Train rondezvous @ Zephyr Cove Resort
  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy @ Harrah's 
  Solo Chapman Stick @ Horizon
  Battlecross, Huntress, Otis, Arsonists get All The Girs @ Whisky Dick's
  The Kandinsky Effect @ Moody's Bistro
  Soroptimist wine and restaurant faire @ Coyote Moon golf course in Truckee
  Ivan neville's Dumpstaphunk, Jellybread / Caught a Ghost @ Crystal bay Club
June 02  America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride
  Wagon Train Parade
  Terraplane, The Beer Gardeners @ Tahoe Mountain Brewery 
  DJ Cook-E, Peridon, Whomping Willow @ Electric Mushroom in Horizon
June 04  Multipleks, DubColing, S1nth3sys @ Whisky Dick's
  Local Talent @ Moody's Bistro
June 05-09 Heath Hyche / Ronnie Schell @ Improv at Harvey's
June 06  Float Tahoe: Float the Truckee river from Elk's club drive to Lake Tahoe
  Jimmy Ashley @ Cottonwood Bar and Grill
  Accoustic Thursday @ Cottonwood Bar and Grill 

June 07  Opening Day for hiking / Mountain Bike park @ Northstar
  O'Niel Cup Stand-Up paddle races @ Donner Lake
  2 Hundred West / SO Dubs @ Whisky Dick's 
  Moondog Matenee @ Heavenly Village
  35th Annaversary party @ Jakes on the Lake
  Robert Earl Keen w/ Andrea Davidson / jerry halford and the Healers @ Crystal Bay Club

June 07-08 George Souza 
June 08-09 Vallhalla Rennaisance Faire @ Camp Richardson
June 08  Tahoe Institute for Natural Science fundraiser @ Lake Tahoe Golf Course
  Patch fest 2013: Glacier snowboarding and campout @ Red Lakes 
  The Virgins @ Montbleu (canceled)
  Eric Burdon and the Animals @ Harrah's
  Jeff Jones @ The Beacon
  The New Thoreaus @ Divided Sky
  J.J. Cady @ The Passtime club in Truckee 
  Alan and Moore Duo @ Northstar
  Truckee Running Festival @ Truckee regional Park 
  Opiuo, Subtropixx, Tre Tuna, Phil harmonic @ Lakeside at night
  Billy Shaddox @ Between the Notes Music in Truckee
  Afrofunk Experience / Terraplane @ Crystal Bay Club
June 09  Sangre, Blessed Curse, Erabis, Through the Gates @ Whisky Dick's
  Big Red Blues Band @ The Beacon
  Coburn Station @ Northstar
  Rubber duck derby @ Truckee regional park
  CBC 10th annaversary w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals / Tumbleweed Wanderers @ Crystal Bay CLub
June 11  Irieyes, Zombass, Subtropixx (w/ Shane Suffritti and Gurbtron) @ Whisky Dick's
June 12-16 Steve White / Shayla Rivera @ Improv at Harvey's
June 12  Jesse Kalin w/ Jester's Attic @ The Beacon
  Ryan Bingham w/ The Wild Feathers, David Jacobs Strain @ Crystal Bay Club
June 13  Ike and Martin @ The Beacon
  Moon Gravy @ Cottonwood Bar and Grill 
June 14-15 RENT @ Lake Tahoe Community College
June 14  Gift of Gab /Pigeon John @ Blu at Montbleu
  Zeroclient, Poindexter, Thicker than Thieves @ Whisky Dick's
  Johnny O Band @ The Beacon
  Jason king Band @ Heavenly Village
  Mojo Green, Groovebox / Downbeat @ Crystal Bay Club
June 15-23 Tahoe City Solctice festival
June 15  Charlie Musselwhite / Coco Montyoa @ Harrah's South Shore Room
  Deep Fried Mojo @ The Beacon
  Lonesome Locomotive @ Himmel Haus
  Deep Fried Mojo @ The Beacon
  Summer Shred skate competition @ Woodward Tahoe  
  Jason King Band @ Northstar
  No Duh! a tribute to No Doubt / Subtropixx, Shane Suffriti,Gurbtron, Micah J @ Crystal Bay Club
  High School Jazz Band @ Valhalla
  Cash Only Band @ The Beacon
  The Northstar Session @ Northstar
  Father's day concert feat. Kristyn Harris @ Thunderbird lodge 
  Mumbo Gumbo @ aboard the Tahoe Gal
  James McMurtry @ Crystal Bay CLub 
June 19-23 James Davis / Avi Liberman @ Improv at Harvey's
June 19  Jellybread @ Truckee river park
June 20-22 RENT @ Lake Tahoe Community College
June 20-24 Bounce Music festival: Beats Antique, Grizz, Boombox, Justin Martin, Mark Farina, LowRiderz, Rob Garza
  Nadastrom, Break Science, The Polish Ambassador, Lumimox, Sabo, Vokab Kompany, @ Twain harte
June 20  Golf Luau @ Lake Tahoe Golf Course
  Ike and Martin @ The Beacon
  Live at Lakeview kickoff feat. Jellybread and 4-piece puzzle  @ Lakeview Commons
  Boys and Girls Club spaghetti feed @ Steamers
June 21  Long Beach rehab / SO Dubs, Squarefield Massive, Weapon @ Blu at Montbleu
  Glam Cobra @ Heavenly Village
  Joe Mama @ The Beacon
  Junior Brown, Easy Leaves / Igor and the Red Elvises @ Crystal Bay Club
June 22  Steve Miller Band feat. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers @ Harvey's Outdoor Amphetheatre
  Max Pain and the Groovies, Deep Space @ Whisky Dick's
  Forget the Roses @ The Beacon
  Deep Fried Mojo @ Tahoe Paradise Park
  Full Moon Kayak @ Sugar Pine Point st. Park
  The Everyone Orchestra ft. Steve Kimock, John Kimock,Trevor Garrod(TLG), Sunshine Garcia,
  Dan Lebowitz(ALO) and Mike Sugar + After Party w/ NVO @ Crystal Bay Club  
June 23  Freq Nasty, 6-Blocc @ Blu at Montbleu
  Redneck Sextet @ The Beacon
  Trey Stone @ Commons Beach concert series opener
  McAvoy Lane as Mark Twain @ Pine Lodge in Sugar Pine point 
June 25  Bass Mtn fundraiser w/ special guests @ Whisky Dick's
June 26-30 Michael Kosta / Quinn Dahle @ Improv at Harvey's
June 26  Bowl a thon for Boys and Girls Club @ Tahoe Bowl
  The Silver Shine, Straight Shooter @ Whisky Dick's 
June 27  American Jubilee feat. Brian Lesh & Ross James / Tracorum @ Live at Lakeview Commons
  Protoje / Jah faith @ Hacienda del Lago
June 28  Sceam, Equinox, DJ Kronyak, Syrax, Bluntstache @ Electric Mushroom
  Island of Black and White @ Heavenly Village 
  3UPFRONT @ Hacienda Del Lago
  The Blues Monsters @ The Beacon 
  Keyser Sose / Mark Sexton band @ Crystal Bay Club
June 29-30 Race the Lake of the Sky Stand Up Paddle races @ Lakeview Commons

June 29  Lake Tahoe Reggae fest: SOJA, Alpha Blondy, Passafire, Stick Figure,
       Tomorrow’s Bad Seed, Island of Black & White @ Montbleu
  The Dan Band @ Harrah's
  Plantrae, Mumukshu, Soulular, Sixis, Shwex, Shap-er, Benjah Ninjah, Phil Harmonic @ RAW bar
  Captured by Robots, Dirt Starship, Up Against It @ Whisky Dick's
  Big Bad Wolf @ the Beacon
  One Track Mind @ King's Beach 
June 30  Exceeding 55 @ Valhalla music on the lawn series
  Midnight Riders @ The Beacon
  Joy and Madness, Hans Erbach @ Commons Beach
July 1  Battlecross, Otis, Huntress, Gary busey Amber Alert @ Whisky Dick's 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride 2013

America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride is a 72 mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe put on every year by Bike The West.  Riders complete a circuit from Stateline, through South Lake Tahoe, CA, up the mountain to Emerald Bay, past Homewood up to Truckee and Crystal Bay, and then back down the East shore to finish back where they started in the back parking lot of the Horizon casino resort.

See my full gallery of pictures of 2013's America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride on Google Plus