Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Rockets Red Glare
I had an idea for the fourth of July. I was going to find a small town and photograph the spectators at their annual parade.
No small town fourth of July parades this year. Bad economy. Budget cuts. Oh well, Plan B.
Asheboro, NC, where I go to school, is a mid-size town. They didn't have a parade this year, but they had the next best thing ... a baseball game and fireworks.
Mother nature added some fireworks of her own. Fortunately far enough away to not affect the game. There was a short rain, but the thunderstorms passed far to the north and east.
The sunset was worth waiting for.
For the technically inclined, it's a 4 shot panorama - Pentax K20D, Tokina ATX-Pro 28-70 f/2.8 zoom @ 28mm, ISO 800, f/5.0 @ 1/50 sec. It's lit using a Vivitar 285HV at full power through a Photoflex Q39 softbox. All handheld. Manual mode. Pre-focused to hyper-focal distance. In camera JPEG High.
The fireworks are ISO 100, f/16 @ bulb on a tripod.
It's a funny thing.
A year ago I was going to every Copperheads home game photographing baseball for my small format class. My images of game play are not much to write home about. I'm not much of a sports photographer. My first photographic love is nature photography. I'm going to school to learn to be a good people photographer.
One image of Copperhead fans watching the game against another sunset stands out from all the images I made last summer.
Shot with almost exactly the same equipment, from almost exactly the same spot.
This was likely the last Copperheads baseball game I will attend. I graduate at the end of this month and head back to the big city for the rest of my life. Unless ...
I know I'm going to be a professional photographer when I grow up. But maybe not in the big city.
If things work out, I'll find another mid-size town somewhere and relocate. And maybe they'll have a home town baseball team. It won't be Asheboro, there's too much competition here. I need a place that doesn't have one of the best photography schools in the world.
But, if I do find a new home town, and if they do have a team, I'll see you at the game. I'll be easy to recognize. I'll be watching the fans watch the game. If there's a beautiful sunset, smile for the camera.
And, if you ever find yourself in Asheboro, NC on the fourth of July with nothing to do, head on out to McCrary Park and take in the game and the fireworks show.