Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July

Mount Rushmore FireworksThis image is one of my few composite photos. I actually did this composite a few years ago. I normally don’t do composite photography but wanted to give it a try and decided to post today since it is the fourth. For photos of fireworks you want to use a long exposure to get the trails of the explosion. If you want to get multiple explosions in the same frame you have two main options: Merge multiple photos of the fireworks in Photoshop or use an older all in camera trick. Open the shutter on the camera and cover the lenses with black paper, just before the explosion move the paper out of the way so you capture the explosion let it sit for a second to get the trails then move the black paper back over the lens and wait for the next firework to be shot up and repeat. Doing this keep the image from over exposing. For this shot I actually didn’t do either. I got lucky, they were shooting enough at the same time I was able to capture these all in one shot at the same time. To get this shot I set my camera to manual all the way. I set my camera up on a tripod and manually focused the camera using one of the previous explosions. I then closed the aperture to f/22 to help cut down light so I could use a longer exposure and try not to over expose the center of the explosion. I set my camera’s shutter speed to “time” so I could control when I wanted the shutter to open and close manually with my remote. After about 33 seconds I closed the exposure and got the shot. The next step I did was in Photoshop where I resized the fireworks and use a layer mask to merge the fireworks with the second photo I took of Mount Rushmore. Using this technique I was able to make composite photo look like it was just one.

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