Posted by: David Giacalone | July 2, 2010

fireworks 2010 – jumpin’ & shakin’

. . . 

– the quiet before the show (L) & my first (shaky) shot of the night –

[As usual, click on a photo to enlarge it.]

Tonight, thousands of people again enjoyed the annual tradition of Jumpin’ Jack’s Fireworks in honor of Independence Day.  Because the show from Collins Park in Scotia, is put on right across the Mohawk River from the Schenectady Stockade,I got to continue my tradition of watching the Jumpin’ Jack’s fireworks from my backyard.


From the very first photo of the night, I understood why wise photographers (especially those over 60) own (and use) tripods.  Despite so-called Image Stabilization technology, my hands were not steady enough to consistently get sharp shots with the slow camera speed needed for fireworks.

But, I didn’t despair, because I remembered my first fireworks photography experience a year ago — when I discovered that shaky hands can produce some very pretty pictures, and that a shake-free photo shows up occasionally, if you snap quite a few.



Here are a few examples, for instance, where I was trying hard to capture the fireworks in the sky and reflected on the surface of the Mohawk River:

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A few other bursts and blooms of fireworks also produced interesting results:

. . .

Shortly after the fireworks display ended, I looked to the west and saw another colorful scene over and on the Mohawk that rivaled the fireworks celebration:

. . .

– look familiar? it’s the Great Western Gateway Bridge on NY Rt. 5 between Schenectady and Scotia, “enhanced” by my wobbly photographic technique –

Next year, I just might take a break from shooting fireworks photos.  It’s hard to enjoy the show while looking through a camera lens and waiting for the camera to be ready for the next shot.   Or, maybe I’ll invest in a tripod.

. . . click to see our coverage of the 2011 Jumpin’ Jack’s fireworks . .


  1. Nice photos, David!

  2. Thanks, Rain. I’ve always said that, even with a modest digital camera, a monkey could get some pretty good photos just snapping at random. My wobbly-hand fireworks experience seems like pretty good evidence for that proposition.

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