Fireworks Over the Campus of Purdue University

I really was having some trouble coming up with a place to make a fireworks photo this year. With the construction in Lafayette nothing there was really going to look good. I looked around at other towns and ideas before finally coming up with something that I thought would work. I went up to Slayter Hill on the campus of Purdue to go through my idea in my head. I was not sure exactly where the fireworks for Lafayette and West Lafayette would be set off, but if they were where I thought they were I would have a cool shot. Of course they were not where I thought they would be so I had to scramble west of get a better shot of them. They didn’t line up the way that I thought they would, and I was not impressed with what I came away with. Last year I liked what I came away with on the 4th. This year I made some nice images, but nothing that I would scream and shout about. That is okay as it gives me the fuel that I need to do something really cool next year.

Setting Your Expectations Too High

One thing that I do all of the time is to set my expectations too high. I came up with my idea for this photo at around noon. By one I was up on campus to scout things out. I spent the rest of the idea thinking that I had found something cool. Of course that was not the case. One thing that saved my butt though was getting to the scene early in the night. I was able to photograph some of the local fireworks before the big show. It is from that time that everything that made the blog today came from. I think that I may have something from the real show, but I want to try something with that before I show it to the world. The photo directly above is not photoshopped at all. It is a look at what was going up in the air over an eight second span just after sunset. Playing around early really paid off in the end as it gave me some options when the main idea did not pan out.

Having A Backup Plan

Earlier in the day I made sure that I had a visual on the bell tower up and down the top of Slayter in case I needed it. I never dreamt I would have to move so far west, but that is what I had to do. In the end this was the best that I could frame the situation. It is not the epic shot that I had in mind, but I was able to come away with something. As soon as I saw that I was way out of position, I grabbed my tripod and made a beeline to the furthest point I could shoot from. I took the 1.4x tele off of my lens and started making photos. I made this one shortly after setting up in my new spot. Knowing where I had to go if things went bad helped me when I needed to move quickly. At this point I have shot these fireworks from a couple of angles. I should be able to figure out where I need to be for sure next year. I just need a way to shoot from a great height then.

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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