Hello my blog readers! We’ve just had our first long weekend of the summer. Affectionately known as May Two Four, but rarely occurring on the Actual May Two Four. It celebrates something about Queen Victoria which nobody remembers anymore. But we don’t need much convincing to take an extra day off, do we? And take in some fireworks displays whether big or small. In our family we are in the habit of having at least some sparklers on one night. Sometimes Husband can be convinced to put on a little fireworks display. Doesn’t require much convincing…fire and explosions and such are an easy sell.
But here’s something fun that’s not hard to do if you have a digital SLR camera. That is to take some cool photos of your kids (or friends) with the sparklers. The hardest part is, you have to turn the mode dial away from Automatic. Don’t panic! This is where all the fun of photography just begins.
The first thing is you have to find a Very Stable Spot to rest your camera. A tripod is great but work with what you’ve got…a tabletop, a deck railing, whatever. Then you want to frame your shot so that you will capture the whole sparkler-iness. A bit of instruction to your subjects to stand in one spot and not go dancing all over the yard is helpful. Now here we go…hold your breath…and turn your mode dial to M. Still good? Good. Now set the aperture (or f-stop) number to something small-ish (it’s actually big-ish but we won’t go there) between about 3.5 and 5.6. Now set the shutter time to something long enough to capture the whole sparkler design. About ten to fifteen seconds is probably good unless they are drawing something extremely elaborate. You will figure that out after a couple of tries. Make sure your flash is set to go.
And you’re set. Light the sparkler. Press your shutter release and say Go. Wait till the shutter closes then check your image. If it’s too bright then set the aperture one or two numbers higher (ie close it down a bit – ok, I went there). Adjust the shutter speed faster or slower as needed. And give it another go. Have fun with it.When I downloaded these photos I did edit them to remove most of the colour and make them almost Black and White. I just liked them better that way. Play with your images and see what looks cool to you.
Sparkler love. Fun memories.
And if you are interested in what the deal is with Queen Victoria or you’re into the royal thing, check out the movie The Young Victoria. Hmmm, maybe a good activity for the Actual May Two Four which is still coming up. Some scones, tea in fine china….