HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Posts Tagged ‘bonfire’

Website Update: Chislehurst Fireworks, November 6th, 2010

Posted by HelenEdith on November 8, 2010

Fireworks from the 2010 Chislehurst Display

Fireworks from the 2010 Chislehurst Display

I’ve been remiss about maintaining this blog recently, but I’ve got something to say for once! I actually took my camera out and took some photos at our local fireworks display and I’ve uploaded them to my website: Helen Stephenson’s Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks Pictures, 6th November 2010

Contrary to what you might believe from looking at the picture above, the fireworks were not all one colour: in fact I think I saw one of the best colour ranges I’ve ever seen. I could link to a few of the pictures here, but it’s late, so you’ll have to click on the link to my website if you want to see the rest. 🙂

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More bonfire and fireworks pictures

Posted by HelenEdith on November 9, 2009

I’ve now uploaded my pictures from Saturday night to Chislehurst_Fireworks_20091107 pictures by HelenEdith – Photobucket

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks bonfire flames

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks bonfire flames

I’m wondering whether to start a photographic debate to rival the “fluffy water” debate where some people believe that “real water” is photographed at high shutter speeds; whilst others like to make it flow with a slightly longer shutter speed; and a third group like employing a really long shutter speed so that water looks like fluffy cotton wool.

It’s a bit difficult to achieve a long enough shutter speed to make flames that fluffy because flames are rather bright, but with some neutral density filters, maybe it could be arranged. 🙂

For the picture above, I used ISO 100 and f32 and achieved a shutter speed of 1/45 second. However, I also tried “freezing” flames by using ISO 800 and f6.7, which resulted in a shutter speed of 1/4000 second. This produces the much grittier result seen below.

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks gritty bonfire flames

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks gritty bonfire flames

I always enjoy pointing a camera towards the fireworks display. Sometimes I think I’d see more of the display if I didn’t take the camera. That was particularly true this year when I used the telephoto lens as I was continually realigning the camera. With a wider lens, I can set it up and just operate the remote shutter release without needing to look through the viewfinder at all!

Now, here are a few more of my favourite firework pictures:

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks

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Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks 2009

Posted by HelenEdith on November 8, 2009

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks through a telephoto lens

Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks through a telephoto lens

This evening, Stephen and I went to our local fireworks display at the Chislehurst Recreation Ground. It’s run very efficiently by the local Rotary Club and was very well attended this year.

The gates were open from 6pm and there was a funfair for entertainment until the bonfire was lit at 7pm. To get a good view of the bonfire, you need to gravitate towards it soon after 6:30pm. I left it a fraction late and didn’t have quite the angle of view I wanted, but it worked out fine in the end as I got some interesting smoke pictures which I might put up later.

The fireworks were about 10 minutes late starting as there were still people coming in through the gates at 7:30pm and the stewards correctly decided to get them all in before allowing the display to go ahead. This year’s display was accompanied by music, and lasted a little over 20 minutes.

I usually photograph the fireworks with an extreme wide angle lens. It allows me to capture the flower-like patterns made by the light trails from their launching point to where they explode; but I decided that I’ve done that several years running and I wanted a change, so I used a telephoto lens this year. The success rate with a telephoto lens isn’t as good as it doesn’t cover as great an area, so you’re more liable to miss some of the fireworks, but the images are quite different from those captured with a shorter lens. I decided that I didn’t trust my Sigma 28-300 as the zoom on it is loose and it won’t stay where you zoom it if you point it up in the air. So I got out my old Tamron 85-210 lens for the occasion. I’ve had that lens for over 30 years and it fits right onto my digital SLR. It only works in manual mode, but as I was shooting by holding the shutter release open as long as I felt like, that hardly mattered. I just set the aperture on the aperture ring and got on with it!

Once the fireworks were over, Stephen said I owed him a burger and that he was cold. His hands were certainly cold. We patronised the burger van, but in the end, he paid! Then we walked home, and got wet. Somehow, between the fireworks display and finishing our burgers, the stars we could see in the sky had all disappeared, and rain had crept up on us!

At least our pussy-cat boys have been growing up to the sound of external bangs and have learnt to pay them no attention, so we came home to two nice relaxed cats. In fact, Rolo actually spent an extended spell on my lap! That’s usually Monty’s perch!

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Website Update: Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks 2008

Posted by HelenEdith on November 9, 2008

It was that time of the year again: Guy Fawke’s Night. The Chislehurst Rotary Club put on their local fireworks display on Saturday 8th November this year, and we managed to take it in without getting too wet.

We’d hoped to go to the Knockholt display last weekend, but the rain was tipping down on Saturday night and we elected to stay home, even though we had bought tickets. We considered going to the Hop Farm last Sunday, but that was a huge display and probably would have been very crowded, so we gave that a miss. Then I made noises about going to a free display in Swanley, but Stephen wasn’t sure where we’d park, so we didn’t do that either. That left last night as our final chance to see some organised fireworks for Bonfire Night and we spent the past several days anxiously watching the weather forecast. Even yesterday, we were glued to the forecast, particularly as there were two bands of rain crossing the UK with a dry place in between. Fortunately, that window in the weather coincided with the display.

I’ve written lots more about it on my website, and you can view it here: Helen Stephenson’s Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks Pictures, 8th November 2008

Here are a few of the pictures you will find there:

The guy atop the bonfire, with the cloudy sky reflecting the many sodium vapour lights in the locality
Chislehurst_Bonfire_20081108_IMGP5070_ed

Once the bonfire was lit, the guy was surrounded by the flames which were shortly to consume him
Chislehurst_Bonfire_20081108_IMGP5087_ed

Some of the fireworks
Chislehurst_Fireworks_20081108_IMGP5168_ed_cr_3x4

Chislehurst_Fireworks_20081108_IMGP5194_raw_ed_cr_5x4

Chislehurst_Fireworks_20081108_IMGP5196_ed_cr_7x6

The only funfair ride I managed to photograph before the rain came down
Chislehurst_Funfair_20081108_IMGP5244_ed

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Website update: Chislehurst Rotary Fireworks 2007

Posted by HelenEdith on November 9, 2007

I’ve got my Guy Fawkes Night pictures for 2007 online.

They can be found here.

The Pentax K10D li-ion battery definitely lasts better than the rechargeable AA batteries that the *ist DS uses. I did the bonfire and the fireworks on one battery, and it still had some go left in it when I’d finished.

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Entry for November 06, 2007 – Guy Fawkes Night

Posted by HelenEdith on November 6, 2007

I’m a couple of days late posting this. Guy Fawkes Night was actually last night, but the majority of the bonfires and fireworks displays were last Saturday evening.

Our local one, which is staged by the Chislehurst Rotary Club, was last Saturday.

Stephen and I took loads of pictures of the bonfire, the fireworks, and everything else that was going on.

The picture shows some fireworks exploding in the night sky and lighting up the school playground where they were set off from. The crowd viewed the fireworks from the Recreation Ground on the other side of the chain link fence and well back from where the display was being set off from.

When I get my pictures (and maybe some of Stephen’s too) onto our website, I’ll post a link.

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