Windswept Fireworks Display

25 08 2008

What do you get when you mix wind, water and fire? Wet photographers with disappointing pictures of windswept fireworks. Last night Tzy Wen, Tan, Radzi and I decided we would go down to Putrajaya to try our hand at photographing the fireworks display at the 2nd Malaysia International Fireworks Competition or MIFC. It was the turn of Team Spain to display their fireworks. The day started out fine but just after the hour of Noon it started to pour down with rain that did not stop by the time we headed down to Putrajaya at 7 p.m. We arrived in Putrajaya at around 7.45 p.m and decided to first have our dinner. Due to unforseen circumstances it took the better part of an hour before we got our dinner and were ready to scout for a place to set up our cameras.
After driving around the city (?), Radzi guided us right up to the site of the fireworks display but seeing that it was still drizzling and there were no shelter set up for the spectators, we decided to drive on looking for a more suitable place. Within minutes we found the perfect place. It was a open air auditorium situated across the lake from the fireworks display. Perfect . . .
There were actually a few people already at the auditorium. I was about to set up my equipment when Radzi motioned us to join some photographers who had set themselves up under a makeshift shelter closer to the lake’s edge directly opposite the fireworks display site.
Seeing that it was still another 45 minutes before the start of the display, I decided to take some pictures of a bridge that was nicely lit up.

Bridge

Bridge

I think this is my best effort but still quite disappointing. I must make another visit to photograph the sights of this city at night. I also had some time to be a little creative.

Zoom Out

Zoom Out

Then the fireworks started. Surprisingly the rain had almost stopped by then and we were able to set up our cameras outside the makeshift shelter.

Even as it started the fireworks display was being affected by strong winds. You can see that the diplays were being swept to the left in the pictures above. At first it was not too bad and the wind did help clear the smoke from the display airspace. Then it got so strong that it was impractical to use long exposures exceeding 10 seconds. I was to find out that Tzy Wen reduced his exposure time to as short as 1/30th of a second. I only went as low as 2 seconds. Out of all my effort that night I only managed to produce no more than 5 good photos.

Colourful

Colourful

Most of my shots were made with a 10 second exposure at between F9 and F12. The rain started again about 15 minutes into the show and we had to move into the shelter. By the time the above picture was shot the wind had also picked up speed as you can clearly see by the smoke trails. The weather conditions yesterday were far from perfect for a fireworks display and Team Spain must be truly aghast at what it did to theirs.

I too must admit I have a long way to go before I can produce stunning pictures of firework displays. Practice makes perfect so the saying goes. Anyone game to make the trip on Friday to catch the Finale?

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2 responses

25 08 2008
keithkyp

Nice pictures, but can you post them up on a bigger scale next time?

28 08 2008
nenebubuchacha

wah not bad not bad,

willl see u tmr! woot. !

last picture damn nice.

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