It’s the time of year for fireworks, and since I haven’t had a go at firework photography since the days of film I thought I’d have a go.

20141108_0016-EditAlthough there are plenty of organised displays on the 5th itself, and the surrounding weekends, I decided to try the Southend seafront display. This takes place every Saturday during October and early November and the location has a distinct advantage. The fireworks appear over the amusement park, giving foreground interest that can be quite hard to achieve in firework photos. It’s all too easy to end up with a splash of colour against a black sky, and that’s not particularly interesting.

The display was a mix of smaller fireworks that burst low in the sky and the larger ones that burst higher and lit up more of the field of view. Knowing whether to zoom in to get a tighter crop or out to take in more the sky was a challenge, and totally hit and miss. Luckily the display was long enough, and I got a few decent ones.

It wasn’t worth combining several exposures or leaving the shutter open to capture┬ámore than a couple of bursts on one frame. Almost all of them burst in the same area, so they would have just built up to a solid mess of colour rather than fill a wider view.

The next problem was the weather. It had been spitting with rain, but the forecast was for heavier rain a little later in the evening.

20141108_0162Unfortunately it didn’t work out quite like that…

Even the spitting rain was a problem, as I was shooting straight into the wind. Small drops of rain were accumulating on the lens, and eventually they built up to the point where they were causing reflections.

This shot was one of the last I took and shows the problem at its worst, but it affected almost all of the shots. It just wasn’t possible to keep wiping the lens between shots as there wasn’t time, and in any case the effects weren’t initially obvious through the viewfinder.

IMG_20141108_194910The worst was yet to come.

Towards the end of the display the heavens opened. It was one of those ridiculously heavy downpours we’ve had so often this year. Within seconds I was soaked – and so was the camera.

I got it into the bag as soon as I could, but this shows the state of it when I got back to the car.

It’s supposed to be weather sealed, but I’ve never been brave enough to fully test it before. It’s certainly had a bit of test now…

I’m leaving it out to air for a few days and keeping my fingers crossed that no long term harm has been done… much as I’d like to, I’ve not really got the budget for camera shopping right now…





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