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Is it cheating to only edit fireworks photos with Instagram?

Is it cheating to only edit fireworks photos with Instagram?


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.


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?

Mornington Pier update and kids swim club

I’ve had a couple of photo sessions this Queens Birthday long weekend, with the associated processing in Adobe Lightroom and online publishing.

The first was down at Mornington, where I again photographed the re-building of Mornington Pier, and whatever else I came across at the marina.  My Dad came with me this time, wielding his camera too, so that was nice.  My photos have been added to the 2014 Mornington gallery on my photo site, and I’ve updated the Mornington Pier Mini-Blog too.

The next day it was my kid’s swim club race meet.  I’ve put a few pics in a gallery on my site, and many more on the club’s Flickr page.

Even though it was a “long-weekend”, it seemed too short.  Now it’s back to work tomorrow, as I think about where I can take photos next weekend!

Not too many yachts in the water over winter, but there's storm clouds and a rainbow over the Mornington Marina on this day.

Not too many yachts in the water over winter, but there’s storm clouds and a rainbow over the Mornington Marina on this day.

Josh swimming with the Cardinia Piranhas

Josh swimming with the Cardinia Piranhas

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RACV Great Australian Rally

Last Sunday I went along to the RACV Great Australian Car Rally.  This is an annual event where owners of classic and vintage cars meet at one of three start points around Melbourne, and then make their way to Mornington Race Course for the public to admire some fine automobiles.  The event raises money for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, so it’s a worthwhile cause.

I went in about 2PM with my father and son, only to find some car owners starting to pack up, so we should have gone a bit earlier (a lesson for next year).  We still had an hour or so to wonder around, admire some classic cars, and (of course) take a few photos.

My favourite technique for photographing cars is to squat down to almost windscreen height, I think being just that little bit lower gives you a much better perspective.

You can see more of my photos from the RACV Great Australian Rally on my Flickr set by clicking HERE.

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