What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with a backyard barbecue and fireworks? We were fortunate this year in that we celebrated with friends on the 3rd and with our children and their families on the 4th.
The image above captures the spirit of the holiday, but it’s actually a composite of several photos. The yard and sky is made of two frames, both taken from our back deck. The first was with the yard lights on to show the details of the grass and trees. The second was a 5 minute exposure (light off) to record the stars. Since it was such a long exposure, I needed to use a special tracking mount for the camera that tracks the motion of the stars and avoids steaks (star trails). Since the camera is moving with the stars, the foreground was blurred in that frame. No problem, just combine the two frames to retain the best of both.
Lastly, I decided to add some fireworks. We certainly had lots of them around the neighborhood, but most weren’t visible through the trees. Instead, I used some fireworks photos from a couple of years ago at the Delavan Fall Festival and simply dropped them in behind the trees and in front of the stars.
I’m not sure I’d call the finished product a photograph, but it’s an interesting image.