July 8, 2011

Fabulous Fourth

I know, I know, I'm way behind. I way behind in blogging, too. There just hasn't been a lot to talk about. I'm working on that.

Our 4th of July celebrations were a little lackluster this year. Again, part of that whole "learning how to do holidays without relying on family functions" thing. Now, we did have a superfun get-together with friends over the weekend....where I, again, forgot to take pictures. (Really, I am just not comfortable enough whipping out my big ol' honker of a camera in groups, yet. Depending on the group. I need to get over that.)

But as far as the actual 4th, we didn't do much. Well, that's not true. SoldierMan fixed our broken air conditioner. That was the morning and afternoon project. And I got a lot of good reading/editing done. And the dogs played outside most of the day. We had a "cold front" come in this weekend, yay! So it was a nice, cool 95 degrees outside. It felt like Spring.

That night, though, we did make the trek across town to see fireworks. I read online that the ball park here in town was going to shoot off fireworks after the game was over, and online they said that should be between 9:00-9:30. As neither of us are baseball fans, we decided to wait until about 8:30 to leave the house and go camp out in the parking lot.

Apparently, most of El Paso had the same idea. The parking lot, nearby park and adjacent streets were insane, covered in cars and pedestrians. (Which was why we didn't go to the on-post fireworks. We aren't big fans of crowds, either.) However, on the way there we noticed a lot of people parked by the sides of the road and camped out - literally, tailgating - on various medians and shoulders. So we turned around and pulled off next to one of the more bare spots with an elevated landing. It turned out to be the perfect spot.

The view. Ballpark on the lower right.

Waiting for the show to start:

Because it's baseball, it started an hour later than projected.

I'm slowly getting the hang of fireworks pictures.
I figured out a few tricks last night.

1. This is the only time I will ever say this: Turn off the autofocus,
or else your camera will search for a solid object in the black sky
and won't open the shutter till the firework is mostly gone.

2. Set your camera to no flash and a long exposure.
Mine was 4 seconds, because we were so far away.
I've had good results with shorter times when I was
closer to the actual show, as fast as 1/6 a second.

3. Use a tripod, or something solid and very stable.
I used my knee, which served the purpose,
but still made the pics come out a little "squiggly"

Yeah, we were a small distance away, but obviously we still had a great view (and we weren't crammed between a bunch of strangers.) Plus, even better, we were able to load up and get out of Dodge ahead of the deluge of cars from the ball park.

In other news, The Mrs. is having a sweet giveaway! She and her mom have a fabulous etsy store and they are giving away a set of bags from the store. Trust me, once you stop by and see these cute bags you'll be all over it! Click here to check it out!


  1. Awesome pictures! I gave up on trying to photograph fireworks a long time ago. But I have read some great tips so far this year. I may have to try my hand at it next year!

  2. Those pictures are incredible!!! :)

  3. Wow, awesome pictures! We didn't get to the fireworks this year, but your post makes me wish we had!

  4. Great pictures! Thanks for the tips.

  5. It looks like the fireworks were fun!

  6. Love the pics. Fireworks are gorgeous :-)

  7. OH YAY!!! I just moved to El Paso! I just got so excited to find another Fort Bliss Blogger :-)

    We went to Wet N Wild Waterworld for our fireworks! And there was a parade going right by our house that morning but the toddler slept in - and he is generally our reliable alarm so we missed it lol

  8. I'm behind too, no biggie ;) AWESOME spot and super awesome pics of the fireworks. Man I wish I could have caught some shots like that, I need to learn how to use my not-so-big but still bigger than small camera hahaha. And yes, I used awesome a lot - I've noticed that recently. Oh and don't be ashamed of your camera I wish I had an... ahem... awesome one like that ;) Man, am I in a rambly mood tonight?! Glad you had a good 4th :)

  9. I am the same way with my camera...to the point that I've stopped carrying it around at social functions and I'm looking for a quality point and shoot for those situations.

  10. GREAT firework pictures! I am love loving that second one. We didn't see any this year...boo.

    I promise I will respond to your temple question...I haven't forgotten. I've just been bad about responding to comments!

  11. Those are GREAT photos! I can't even manage to take decent full-light photos of a stationary object, so I am much impressed!


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