Trial by fireworks…

Its been awhile since the 4th of July…we’ve all had a chance to reminisce about the what we did or shouldn’t have done.  It’s also given me the opportunity to pore over the images I took.  I started the weekend hoping to get some great firework pictures – needless to say it was a good learning experience!  What I found most challenging was getting the proper focus point while still having a good composition (with the firework in it).  I had read some general guidelines that did help, but in the end, nothing compares to first hand experience.  I had a good idea of where the fireworks were going to be on display, but as with any explosive it was still hard to predict where it was actually going to explode.  I pushed through the frustration and was able to capture a few “good” ones until I looked at my notes…then the real fun started!

The best tip I read was to not forget about your surroundings.  There are some great photo opportunities of catching the people around you as they watch the fireworks.  For me, this meant my nieces, nephews, and the sparklers they were so excited about yet afraid of.  Watching them run around was quite entertaining and rewarding as I turned my focus to longer exposures and light streaking.  As they became more comfortable with the sparks and sparkles I tried to get them to be creative to see what their little minds (and mine for that matter) could come up with.  By far it was the most rewarding part of my holiday celebration, but I must be honest, they weren’t the shots I was after – I wanted the grand finale in all its glory.  It’ll have to wait for next year, but the holiday wasn’t for naught, I’ll take what I’ve learned from this experience and be ready for next year!

In the mean time click on the image below to enjoy some of my favorite shots from the weekend.



Minneapolis after Dark

It had been a perfect day, calm winds, clear skies and the perfect temperature.  For once I thought things might work to capture an awesome sunset.  Since it had been clear all day and forecast to remain that way all night I knew I wasn’t going to capture amazing clouds, however I was hoping for some breathtaking colors.  I was especially excited because I had set up a time to meet with a good friend, Nathan Ashby, to show me a few tips.  After a wonderful dinner we headed out.  We arrived on location to realize that I had driven by this location numerous times but kept driving as the perfectly positioned overpass had a safety fence.  What I didn’t know is many photographers before me had cut some perfectly sized holes in the fence fit for a lens.  After playing with composition and exposure I finally had the frame I was looking for.  The colors did not disappoint.


As the sun set further and the light be darker I turned my attention to another of my favorite images to capture…light streaks.  Timing the traffic and the exposure can be challenging to say the least but its always a welcome challenge.


Click here for more of my favorites from the evening.





Time Travel

After taking some images of the Sculpture Garden I walked over the pedestrian overpass and started to take some photos of the Minneapolis Skyline.  After the sun had set I started packing up my gear, only to quickly unpack it again.  The beautiful dark blue sky combined with the ambient light lighting the bridge made for some amazing color interaction.  I made me feel as if I was about to enter a time warp as the beams created an intricate pattern on the overpass floor.