December was relatively quiet for pictures, compared to November. The first outing was to the Christmas Fair in Billericay with friends on a photowalk.
A few days later I went for a Tropical Flutter in South Woodham Ferrers to find some butterflies to photograph:
I managed to finish off my 50@50 2013 project this month with three final pictures, #48 in London, #49 in Chelmsford and #50 in Broadstairs. The last one was found during my stay for Christmas By The Sea in Kent:
The final outing of the year was a spot of Caching In Colchester with Alistair. This abstract at First Sight arts centre nearly made it for picture of the day:
It was the Billericay Christmas Fair today, so I met up with some friends for a photowalk around the High Street. As well as the Parade, there were also plenty of market stalls with Christmas themes, street performers and entertainment. I chose the Town Crier for Day #2162 and also managed to chat to Stranger #31 – Tony. Here are some others from my day out:
This study in rust also caught my eye and was a strong contender for picture of the day, but was just pipped by the Town Crier.
I had a great trip to see the Round Table Fireworks display at Billericay last night. I was very pleased with my pictures this time around, they turned out even better than my last attempt at firework photography in 2011. I was still following my tips for photographing fireworks but I think there wasn’t so much smoke blowing about this year, so it made for better contrast than last time. Here’s a small selection:
At this time of year photographers love to have a go at taking firework shots. They are not always successful, as it’s a bit more tricky than it looks. So I thought I would give you a few tips for the next time you see some pyrotechnics.
Turn off flash – it won’t do you any good
Use Manual focus – set the focus on your lens to something which is close to where the fireworks are going off and leave it there
Use a tripod – you won’t get sharp images unless you do
Use a low ISO setting (eg ISO100) – for the best quality without noise
Use a wide-angle lens – the widest you’ve got, the better. You can always zoom in a bit when you see where the fireworks are going off
Use a cable release – this will help you avoid camera shake when you press the shutter
Use live view – if your camera has it, this can help you compose your pictures without having to have your eye glued to the viewfinder – then you can observe the action a little better
Use the BULB setting – if your camera has it (or the longest shutter speed if not). This means the shutter is open for as long as you keep your finger on the button. Experiment with different shutter speeds to see what you get
Here’s the technique I used – camera on a tripod, with cable release, full manual focus and full manual exposure – set f/9 and use BULB with a cable release. Watch the fireworks as they go off, try holding the shutter open for different lengths of time to see what you get with the firework trails.
These are some of the shots I took at the local fireworks display yesterday: