Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fireworks in New York with the Fuji X-T1

In yesterday's post I discussed taking photographs of fireworks with a Fuji X camera. Last night I put my own advice to work and captured the fireworks display from the roof top of my apartment building. I am still home-bound recovering from a hip replacement so this is all part of my "Rear Window" series. This is an instance where the compactness of the Fuji X system came into play. There is no other way I could have carried a heavier camera and lenses to take these photos. Just like in "Rear Window" I couldn't have done this without the assistance of a beautiful woman -- in this case my wife, Faith.

I assembled the photo above from three images taken last night. First I used the Fuji X-T1 and 18-135mm lens to record the patriotic colors of the Empire State Building at dusk while there was still some blue color in the sky. Afterwards, I switched to the Fuji 55-200mm zoom to record the fireworks. My intent all along was to combine the fireworks photos to create other images so I zoomed in and out to capture them at varying sizes.

The exposure for the fireworks was f/16 at 5 seconds. Later in the evening, as the smoke built up and brightened the display, I decreased the exposure to f/22. The ISO was 200 and the camera set to manual focus at infinity. This is exactly the prescription I proposed in my post of yesterday.

Using Photoshop, I added the two fireworks as layers to make a red, white, and blue composition.. Because the backgrounds were completely black, I simply changed their layer mode to "screen" to blend them into the Empire State Building photo, and then tweaked things a bit to blend them in. I placed a mask over the Empire State Building to put the larger set of fireworks behind it.

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