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Is it cheating to only edit fireworks photos with Instagram?

Is it cheating to only edit fireworks photos with Instagram?

Fireworks

On Australia Day evening I sat on the beach at Mornington with the family to watch the fireworks.  I haven’t done much fireworks photography before, but I took my camera and tri-pod anyway.  I wasn’t sure what the ideal settings would be, but I thought I’d have a go.

Stuffed it up

I stuffed up my fireworks photography in a few ways;

  • I thought the pyrotechnics would be launched from the pier, but they were actually set-up further out on a barge, so my camera was pointing in the wrong direction and missed the start of the display.
  • Not refocusing after rushing to re-aim the camera towards the fireworks resulted in some blurry light streaks.
  • After quickly pointing the camera in the right direction, the horizon was no longer level.
  • At the time I thought 30 second exposures, either single shot or compositions, would be great to capture several explosions and fill the sky. The reality was a big blob of blown out whiteness at the launch point

In the end, I managed to get a couple of ok shots using a two second exposure.  Nothing great, just ok.

Instagram

Afterwards I uploaded the shots to my phone and did some quick adjustments in the Instagram app and published three of them.  Those fireworks photos don’t look too bad on the small iPhone screen, but I know they are actually crap because they’re heavily cropped and either under or over exposed.

Since then I haven’t even bothered to upload the photos to my computer, let alone process them in Lightroom.

So is this photography cheating, because the only post processing and publishing is done on the Instagram app?

Quick video of Olympus Live Composition

Quick video of Olympus Live Composition

My wife calls it a photo drive.  Basically I chuck the camera in the car and head off somewhere to take photos.  I might be gone for a couple of hours, or all day.

I went for a photo drive a couple of weeks ago and headed west.  My first stop was Stawell, the last was Wycheproof, with lots small towns in-between.  All up I was gone for 23 hours – yes, it was a long day!  My only regret was that I did this on the Friday before going back to work after the Christmas break, and I haven’t had much time since then to process most of the pictures taken on the day.  The exception was the night time long exposure shots from Wycheproof.

Live Composition is a mode in Olympus OM-D cameras that allows you to stack multiple long exposures in camera to create stunning star and light trail photos.  I was excited to process the Live Composition shots from Wycheproof, where the railway runs along the middle of the main street.  I featured a couple of those Live Composition shots on my Vic Pics blog, and they also got a good reaction on Flickr.

I thought I would share a quick video from my phone taken during one of the hour long Live Composition shots, which shows the multiple exposures stacking and composing the end shot on the camera’s rear screen.

I really like these long exposure composition shots, which bring out amazing star trails.  I’ve got a few ideas for possible locations, so when the skies are clear, I’ll be off on another photo drive for some Live Composition photography.