So here we are again! Another year and another 4th about to go down. Here in the states, its of course the day that we celebrate the independence of our country….July 4th. And like clockwork, every year some of us blow off a few fireworks or at the very least, watch a show put on by the pros 🙂

I must admit that I am not a fan of crowds, but lucky for me, I live a few steps from the waterfront here in West Palm Beach, where “our” show is launched every year. I head out almost every year with the kit to capture a few bursts, and then chill out with my feet up on the patio to listen to the horns honking as the masses try to leave the congested city. Good times 🙂

There is a REALLY good chance that shot above was with the iPhone….or perhaps a point and shoot? One of those 2. These grids below were taken with the bigger kit and sticks (more about that in a few) from previous 4th celebrations as well as final night Sunfest fireworks shows. Again, so close I could fall out of bed and almost be there 🙂

So how do I capture all of these? That was the original intention here actually, to quickly share the tips …. so lets get started!

Ill keep it quick, and list them actually. I did a video today that I will share after this for a few more tips, but for a quick cheat sheet, here we go:

  • Use a tripod
  • Shoot raw
  • All manual! Manual focus, stop, shutter, etc.
  • Either a DSLR or a mirrorless with a medium zoom lens
  • Focus to infinity (or just shy of it)
  • f8 – f16 (experiment with this. I would start at f11 though)
  • Low ISO (100 or 200)
  • Daylight white balance (you can tweek in post!)
  • Use the bulb setting. Expose for about 5 seconds (again, experiment!)
  • And get creative with your composition! (people, skyline, framing, etc)

So last year, I was up in New York during the holiday and decided to seek out a place to watch the Macy’s fireworks. Again, not exactly the crowd person at heart, so I did a little searching. After a little detective work (actually, it was pretty easy to find out), I pin pointed the exact location of the barges for the show, (I think they vary that from year to year?) and decided a balcony room at the Williamsburg Hotel in Williamsburg was the way to go! The shot above and the images below were from that view 🙂

And I created this video below from those images, a few more, and some clips I had been capturing of the show. (first time videoing fireworks too!)

And finally! I had mentioned a video I uploaded today about some tips and tricks for actually capturing these magical displays. I get into a bit more detail and get a little off topic (of course) in my own unique way. Enjoy and Happy 4th! Be safe out there and Happy Birthday America!

So, here we are again. Another version of wordpress. Looks quite different and to be honest with you, I have NO IDEA how to post images and videos yet……but lets keep going.

Well….that worked. There is this new way to post called “blocks”. Not sure HOW new it is actually, as I have been a bit absent here. As there are many places to share your story here on the inter webs lately, its becoming increasingly hard to stay focussed on any one platform for long.

One of those platforms I have been spending ALOT more time on is youtube again. Still trying to find out my message, who I am talking to, and how I want to deliver it, but its been a lot of fun learning along the way!

So in an effort to search for story content, I have been taking myself out on little trips here and there to aquire content. As the cherry blossoms were in peak bloom, a client of mine (and friend) was producing an event (the the President was speaking at), and I have a hole in my schedule, a quick flight to DC was the OBVIOUS thing to book.

These few days were a nice getaway and a chance to come back with some clips, images, and stories (I use that word loosely!) that I could create a series for my YouTube channel. Below is the result of that. Had a lot of fun and hope to keep the channel going strong! Let me know what you think 🙂

So, I have been sharing a few of these images over on my Instagram feed this week. My eyes were focused on this area of the country again in the hopes that the lake would freeze over again enough to access the Ice Caves but it’s not looking so good for that this year. I blogged about it here a couple other times if you want to read up a little more on the journey. Thought I would share a few more that up and until now, I never shared. A bit of a diversion from the normal processing that I like to do. A bit simpler I guess…..

Also, I created the video below for even MORE from the trip. Love the music I found. From a site called MusicBed if you are interested.

Guess there is always next year!

Has it really been 3 years since I have updated this blog? Whaaaat?

When I first started this little journey of sharing my life, art, and travels here, I posted daily! Of course that was a while ago, and before the million platforms that are now out there to share your story. Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, …… it can all seem a bit exhausting. Not to mention (as I can see from my last post), the 2016 election became a distraction for me as I shifted my precious time allotted for content consumption into what has become a never ending rabbit hole of controversy, division, and to be honest with you….TIME SUCK!

Well, its time to pull myself out of the hole.

I’ll keep this update kind of brief for now, but I am thinking of navigating over to Squarespace. Looking for a little change up as well as getting away from the constant security updates and plugin upgrades. If that happens, it will just be an easy redirect (I think). Have you had any experience with Squarespace as a host or platform?

Anyway, the goal is to stay a bit more active this year. I hope to do a bit more traveling so I’ll definitely be sharing that! Also, I have been a bit more active on Youtube and Instagram so make sure and follow me there too!

Wow, on a side note, this dashboard and back of house interface for wordpress looks ALOT different. Guess things change if you are not around in 3 years!

Here are a couple of images (yes, I am STILL photographing as much as possible!) from a trip about a year ago to the amazing country of Iceland as well as a video I created with Animoto from a few more of the images. Incidentally, the new wordpress interface was actually much easier to upload and view this post with now that I am done. Maybe I’ll keep it here? We shall see. As always, more on ALL of this later 🙂

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

Although the “blown out” pixels on the rock just left of center bother me in this image, (my fault!), I LOVE that cloud formation happening in the back ground. Wish I would have time lapsed that one! One of the many things I loved about the daily trek from the hotel room to the ballroom every day was the sky….that ever changing desert sky.

If you find yourself in Scottsdale, AZ by the way, you HAVE to check this place out! Man, that was a nice room 🙂


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