Burst on a wave

I took this shot at a July 4th fireworks display while we were down in the metropolis of Cortez, Colorado visiting a family friend. Of all my “accidental” images, I think it’s the one I like the best.

Burst on a wave

It’s not a multiple exposure shot, and I’ve done essentially no post processing work. Think you know how it happened? Let me tell you the tale.

Cortez isn’t a particularly large town — population was just under 10,000 at the most recent census. But when we were down there to visit our friend over the Independence Day weekend, we were expecting a good show for July 4th. A new guy in the city government had taken over job of coordinating Cortez’ yearly fireworks display, and we were hoping he’d try to make a “splash” his first time out.

Apparently a lot of the locals had the same expectation — I think the whole town turned out for the show. As a result, the four of us were sandwiched on a blanket on a little strip of grass — right next to the sidewalk that’s right next to the road that’s the line marking the safe viewing area for the display.

So we had great seats, aside from pesky pedestrians occasionally walking by right in front of us.

Now bear in mind that shooting fireworks is somewhat of a hopeful process. The round goes up, you open the shutter, and your camera captures whatever it sees in the next few seconds. Maybe you get something good, maybe you don’t.

In this particular case, I opened the shutter just before one burst went off — I thought it would be a good capture. Then a couple of young guys walked right in front of us with “glow sticks” in their hands. I was a bit annoyed at the time, obviously they’d ruined the image.

Or so I thought until I got home and could see it on my computer’s screen. As “ruined” images go, I think it turned out pretty well…

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