Bouquet of colors

We recently took a family trip to Montreal and Boston — so along with other things, it gave me a chance to put Olympus’ (relatively recent) “Live Composite” mode to work on Boston’s Independence Day fireworks.

For those of you unfamiliar with this, “Live Composite” is a feature of their OM-D cameras that allows you to do something like a long exposure — but without the usual risk that brings of overexposing parts of the image.  You set up your exposure settings, start “Live Comp,” then it only updates a part of the image if it has become brighter than before — so you wind up collecting sort of a “high water mark” for each pixel / color.

It’s easier to use than I’ve described it, as for the results, you can see for yourself:

Bouquet of colors

This was my first real experience with Live Composite — I’ll definitely be writing more about it in the coming weeks…

Fireworks in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

This past weekend, our family was able to spend a few days (including July 4th) in Steamboat Springs — always a treat and source of plenty of photographic opportunities to boot.  This is the first time, though, that I had the opportunity to photograph the town’s fireworks.  So since there’s not a whole lot of information about the show online, I thought I should do a quick write-up to help future visiting photographers.

July bouquet

At least when we visited, the fireworks were shot off from three locations on the sides of Howelsen Hill — centered roughly on the ski jump, south and west of downtown. This means that many spots downtown will give you a partial view of the fireworks, but they seem to be fired to a low altitude — so unless you’ve got rooftop access, you’re likely to have an obstructed view. Continue reading

Fireworks with an Olympus E-M5

Over the years, I’ve settled into having two semi-related sets of photography gear — a “large set,” and a “small set.” My small set of gear is all micro-4/3 stuff, and I recently upgraded that body to an Olympus OM-D E-M5 (yes, bit of a mouthful there). Or to be more accurate, I should say that I ordered an E-M5 back in March and it finally arrived a few weeks back.

So buoyed by reports of good performance in low-light situations, I took my shiny new (surprisingly small) little camera with tripod and cable release to a fireworks display that our town put on recently.


Continue reading

Enjoying the show

I’ve been delaying this post so I could upload and group a bunch of related images together. Well, enough waiting…


The town we live in (part of the Denver metro area) has a celebration each August called Western Welcome Week (which is actually 10 days long). It started as sort of a homecoming event, an excuse for folks that have moved away to come back to reconnect and visit with their old friends.


It’s since gained a bit of celebratory flavor — a way to remind ourselves that while we’re part of a major urban area, we’re still small-town folks at heart. So part of the shindig is an opening fireworks display — presented in a local park with all the flavor you’d expect from a small-town fireworks show. Come early for the free music, bring a lawn chair or blanket and sit in the grass, close to where the fireworks are getting launched.

Cherry on top

If you pick your spot well, you’ll even catch some silhouettes of other spectators in your pictures!

Enjoying the show