After Friday night's mosquito infested fireworks failure from Nose Hill, I decided to try a different spot for Saturday night. Although Friday night's quest fell short it was good in the sense that I got to see fireworks exploding from all quadrants of the city and even better, it helped me pick my Saturday night spot.
My Saturday night firework quest landed me a bit closer to home than Friday night. Once again, my partner Jen and I mounted our faithful steeds (bikes, not horses) and made the trek to our spot. The great thing about having a partner along for the shoot is that they can swat mosquitos while you set up the gear. And, the good part about that is mosquitos LOVE me but really don't care to nibble on Jen so it works out pretty good for everyone.
Despite Jen's vigorous swatting efforts the mosquitos were winning so I had to relent. I jumped back on the bike and made the quick ride home for more bug spray. On the ride it began to rain. Jen was at our spot watching the camera so I was confident she would pull out one of the many plastic bags I packed and cover the gear. Upon my return I switched from the garbage bag she used to the Op/Tech DSLR Rain Sleeve to shield the gear from the rain. OK, let's quickly talk about that. The Op/Tech Rain Sleeve is seriously the best bang for the buck in moderate rain protection out there. You get two sleeves for about $8 and they are beefy enough to be re-used several times before needing replacement. I have taken mine out in snow and rain and they work great! Now, I likely would not take them out in a massive downpour but heck, I would not be out making pictures either, so it's nothing I worry about. If you need basic wet weather protection for your gear, check them out.
Back to the shoot...
The rain wasn't too menacing for the gear but the rain also meant cloud cover and cloud cover was exactly what I needed to get the shot I envisioned. My camera position was not the greatest for getting clear shots of the fireworks but I knew that. What I wanted was what I saw on Nose Hill the previous night. I wanted to capture the wash of colour behind Calgary's downtown and maybe catch some of the light and reflections bouncing off the buildings. The cloud cover was perfect for collecting all that light and sending it back to the camera.
As the first few bursts of fireworks exploded in the sky, my suspicions were confirmed, my spot was not the best for capturing the fireworks themselves. I waited patiently for the finale, snapping a few frames here and there. And then about 10 minutes later as fireworks flooded the sky my colours and light were revealed and this is what I shot.
I have one more night of fireworks shooting before Stampede wraps up for another year. If the weather holds, I hope to be shooting the fireworks right from the grounds. It should be awesome.