We Americans are always looking for any excuse to blow things up, whether figuratively or literally. Once a year, though, we have a legitimate excuse to get explosive, and every Fourth of July the skies light up with “the rockets’ red glare.”
Mitch Axness, a system support specialist at North Dakota State University, describes photography as a “serious hobby.” While photographing the fireworks display at Devils Lake, ND, Mitch captured a once-in-a-lifetime image as a bolt of lightning reached out to meet an exploding rocket.
Using a Canon EOS Rebel T4i and a kit lens, Mitch set up to shoot the display. Dialing in at ISO400 and f/11, he describes how the 8-second frame turned into an amazing photo.
“It also sprinkled occasionally and I had thought about leaving, but the sprinkles were very light and eventually quit. The show went on as normal, and I took many standard shots and, with an 8-second shutter speed, wouldn’t always fully pay attention when the shutter was open. This image was captured during one of those times; I don’t remember what I was looking at but I didn’t see the lightning strike in the photo. It wasn’t until the image appeared in the preview that I saw what I had captured, and gave out a ‘whoa’ (and probably a few expletives) in celebration. I tempered my excitement thinking that maybe the image wasn’t in focus or that there may have been some camera shake, which once I got it on my laptop saw that wasn’t the case.”
The following day, Mitch sent the image to a local media outlet who runs weather images during their newscasts. He thought his 10-year-old daughter would be impressed to see her dad’s image on the TV but was not expecting it to be as big a hit as it was. “I had no idea it would catch on and spread the way it did.”
What about you?
What’s the most exciting or unexpected image you’ve captured during a fireworks display? Share it with us in the comments!
[Image by Mitch Axness | Used with permission.]