LEE ALEXANDER | PHOTOGRAPHY | It's pouring with rain and I don't have a hood

It's pouring with rain and I don't have a hood

February 01, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

This image must not be copied, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed or published without express permission. © Copyright Lee Alexander Brown. This image must not be copied, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed or published without express permission. © Copyright Lee Alexander Brown.

My first attempt at photographing firework displays was completely experimental from start to finish. Having never shot fireworks before, I gleaned a few basic settings from various websites in order to get me started, then, with a few fellow photographers from my photography group, headed to a small display in Thatcham, Berkshire.

The display organisers had the misfortune to be holding the event on one of the wettest days of the week. By the time we arrived, the field was already resembling a mud bath. With the rain continuing to fall, we could have called it a day and headed for the local pub. But being keen photographers, a little bit of rain wasn't going to put us off.

The display itself was over half an hour later than advertised, and when you're stood in the pouring rain, checking your watch every two minutes, you do start to question what you're doing there. However, with our cameras mounted onto tripods, and the basic settings entered into our cameras (my settings being: 4.0 sec at f/11 ISO 200), we waited. Unfortunately, I was waiting hood-less. My coat didn't have a hood, but far more importantly, I had neglected to bring my lens hood.

After a while, the rain gradually began to ease, but, nevertheless, water droplets kept landing on my lens, and there was nothing I could do about it. I captured what I could, and was amazed at the accidental 'bokeh' effect on some of those early shots. The first shot you see here shows the result.

A short time later, the rain finally stopped. I was now able to thoroughly clean my lens and experiment further with my settings. I had read about a technique where you cover/uncover the lens with a piece of black card during a long exposure. This allows you to create a multiple exposure; perfect for a fireworks display. With no black card to hand, I improvised with my glove. The final effect is what you see in my second shot.

An hour later, cold and hungry, we all headed for the local pub for some well earned refreshment by an open fire.


FIRE & WATER © Lee Alexander Brown
13.0 sec at f/16 ISO 200

EXPLOSION OF LIGHT © Lee Alexander Brown
12.0 sec at f/16 ISO 200


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