I knew I should have packed my camera bag earlier to lessen the chances of forgetting something, but I procrastinated and then couldn’t find the cord for my remote at the last minute. I gave up, knowing that I could shoot the fireworks without the remote, and we set off for the fireworks show about six minutes behind plan.

Then when we got to the parking lot, the ladies at the shuttle stop told us the last bus had left about five minutes earlier. They said they didn’t know they would stop running half an hour before the show, either. But we thought we would just walk as close as we could and hopefully find a decent spot.

A decent spot happened earlier than we had expected, as we found a group camped out in chairs before we had even crossed the street. It wasn’t crowded there, and it seemed to have a good view of the sky in the right direction, so we set up camp.

Then the zipper to my tripod bag stuck, and I couldn’t get the bag open. By this time, the fireworks show was starting, fifteen minutes before the published time. I could feel in the dark that the zipper had a broken tooth that was jamming the pull, so it wasn’t something that I would be able to fix easily. So I just sat down to enjoy the shows and resigned myself to no pictures this year.

But as I put my tripod bag down, the zipper split underneath the jam, and the tripod could be freed. I hastily set up the tripod, lens, and camera in the dark. In a way, it was good not to have to mess with the remote, as finding the port for the cord in the dark is one of the more challenging parts of the set up.

Actually taking the pictures was very easy this year. I started at f/16 with manual bulb exposures of around three seconds, based on the bursts, and triggered them all by hand. The camera shake from my hand resting on the camera is there, but not too obtrusive. My fault for not having my equipment packed ahead of time.

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f/16 was too bright, and f/32 was a little dark for the blue ones, which were my favorite. I settled on f/22. I would have liked to get more of the ambient sky, but if I left the shutter open too long, there were too many overlapping bursts. This particular show had the fireworks pretty much firing to one spot. It made framing very easy, but it did limit how many bursts I could capture, since they made a mess after two or three.

After the fireworks, we made it home in record time, since we were so close to our car and no one else had shuttled back to the parking lot yet. We were only gone for about an hour and didn’t even get sweaty or bug bites this year.