Sunday, 4 November 2007

A beacon light, and fireworks bright....

It's not actually Bonfire night yet, not until the 5th, but as it was the weekend Pype Hayes Park had their fire and fireworks early. The queues and the traffic chaos is tiresome, so I park some distance away and walk up along a small stream. You can't actually get in this way, the huge fire looks small on the horizon, but you are really, really close to the firework launching area....perhaps too close.

Trying to get a good photo offered a dilemma, a long exposure and get streaks of colour, or a fast shutter speed and capture the action.

I locked the focus, compromised on the shutter and set up the white balance as best I could. In the end I was happy to get anything, (quite fast things fireworks!)

This years display concentrated on variety and shape rather than the usual shock and awe.

Pretty, but where's the big bangs?!

There were some really unusual ones...

These reminded me of palm trees.

The display got more raucous. They had just been building up to the bigger stuff.

I wasn't where I should have been, and as the sparks showered ever closer this became more apparent. I made a mental note of the direction to take towards the stream should it be needed.

Some of the bangs shook your innards. One particularly big explosion sent a visible shock wave out across the grass towards me and my camera shut itself down. The 'shock protection' on the hard drive had decided enough was enough and had saved itself by switching itself off. It came back on with little fuss but I had missed the opportunity of photographing the best of the display.

In a flurry of sparks and bangs it was over. I switched the camera off and prepared for home. It was then that, through the gloom of firework smoke a low flying passenger jet banked sharply, its underbelly illuminated golden in the glow of the fire. Why is it the best shots turn up after you switch the camera off?!.....


JLee said...

Spectacular pics!! You must have been really close for it to shut down your camera that way! I remember when I was little, we went to see fireworks, and a spark hit my mom's hair net she was wearing over her hair rollers and it melted! lol

Jessica Foster said...

Great shots! I've never had a lot of luck shooting fireworks--like you said, those suckers are fast!

But, um, what the heck is bonfire day?

secret agent said...

yeah.... ditto on that
WTH is bonfire day???

we like to shoot Roman Candles at eachother down here.... it's exciting watching the boys run from me, jumping and screaming for their lives :) all knowing that they're not allowed to "hurt" me.

barkfoot said...

Bonfire night is also known as Guy Fawkes night. In 1605 Guy Fawkes and a number of co conspirators attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London by placing barrels of gunpowder in the cellars. The plot was foiled. Since then on the anniversary we light huge fires with effigies of 'the guy' on top, or anyone else we don't like (ironically often members of parliament). We also shoot off thousands of fireworks, starting mid October to second week in November, although legally it is meant only to be 5th Nov and the nearest weekend to it. Some villages light barrels of tar which are then carried on the back of the local men, running up and down through the crowd. Quite dangerous but good fun. There is a rhyme that commemorates this but I can only remember the first bit....
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Lesley said...

Really fantastic photos!

Happy Guy Fawkes Day, even though it is still a bit early!

We could use a Guy Fawkes these days, or maybe I have just read and seen V for Vendetta too many times. :-)

photowannabe said...

Don't you hate when that happens. I have missed some good pictures that way. Your firework pics. are super and some are very unusual. Nice work. Glad you avoidedbecoming a firework yourself..

Stephanie, Single and Blogging said...

There's some holiday going on in the UK this week, right? Celebrating some guy who burned down something??? My stepdad is British and he just flew over there for the week.

Elisa, Jarrod, Thomas & Zoe said...

Ok..feeling homesick again.
In our village...which is actually full of Brits we do celebrate the night.
The guy who always hosts it was away last weekend so we are doing it on the 10th instead!

Lavender said...

Why is it the best shots turn up after you switch the camera off?!
Because its a law Mate!

GREAT SHOTS Ive never had any sort of luck with fireworks, and so these rate as excellent with me - Well done!

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

You did a great job capturing the fireworks, it is difficult to do. I have tried, to no avail.

CCK said...

I wouldn't say you missed the best ones. These are great.

Sharon said...

What a spectacular firework display... sure looks better thant he measley July 4th display we went to!

Hey this is the second time this week I've heard of Guy Fawkes!

Angela Marie said...

Wow! You got some great pictures here too! I am always gone when we have fireworks, so I didn't know it was hard to get pictures of them. Thanks for the 411.