Fireworks Practice

Once or if I'm lucky twice a year I get to play and be totally surprised by the outcome.  This year I get to do it twice :)  Fireworks when captured on camera can be like spin art as a child.  You know when you put a few drops of paint on paper and the machine twirled and flung the paint around.  When it stopped you were a master artist.  

One summer before I was married I lived in NYC and actually won a photography contest with fireworks.  That year I photographed the fireworks on the river and captured the 3 big simultaneous displays and their reflections.  This year it was a random backyard scene but it is kinda all American in a way.

All you need is the right tools and little bit of camera knowledge and you too can be a master artist :)

First you need a camera that you can put in Manual mode, a tripod, and a lens.  I used a 50 mm.

To get the settings right you need to play around a touch I used kids running around with glow sticks. Put your ISO on 100. I usually kept my f stop or aperture between 5-9.  And the shutter speed stayed around 3-5 seconds.  If it is open too long the fireworks overlap and become too bright and you just get a big bright blob in the middle. Too short of time and you don't capture the trails.  

We went with everyone one else in Broken Arrow and Tulsa to the Rhema Fireworks which is held the Sunday night before the 4th.  It is a huge display and lasts for quite a while so you have some time to adjust your settings when the first few go off.  

Once you get everything lined up you can actually push the shutter button and let it do it's thing while holding your kids and watching the show.  I could hear my shutter open and close and I knew when to push it again.  

Hope this helps someone play :)

 The not cool thing about this is the drive home.  It took us a over an hour when it normally takes 15 minutes.  So if you live south of Rhema watch it on the south side.  That just might be the best tip of the day!

The 4th will still be epic just a little more personal so I have a new idea for that. :)

One on One Time

When it's your time to hang out with Daddy you usually get to go fishing.  Fishing is close less than 1/2 a mile away.  Often one of the kids go and then the rest of us come find them after a few hours.  This time is was Jack's turn to go.  When us other 3 got there he told us that they had caught a million fish in their bucket and they are still trying for the "BIG" one! (Catfish)  

The light was basically gone so the pictures were hit an miss mainly only the details but since I love those too I'll share them with you.

I still don't trust Luke not to jump in the pond hence the stroller...

I love these dirty hands.

 A catch is a catch no matter the size :) But he just calls it bait.


There should be rules for the outdoors.  We abide by none of them... yet.  I still have hope.

Outdoor Rule #1 You have to actually walk past viewing distance of the vehicle before your legs become tired and you need to be carried.   


 Below was taken by Savvy of our prettiest view :)

 This next two was photographed by Jack to not be outdone by Savvy.  The second was a picture of Luke...his head almost made it in the photograph.  But I have to say I really kinda like it this way.

 Jack decided he should collect things.  His things didn't fit in his backpack.

 Outdoor lesson #2 when trees have no leaves below here it is because of deer in the area.  It is called a browse line.  Cows graze / Deer Browse
 We let Luke out of the stroller for a brief time.  He collected rocks and more rocks.  All within 10 feet of each other so he got put back in the stroller.  

 Jack is always thinking...this time he made a cross with sticks while we waited for Luke to pick up even more rocks.

Before we left we hit the playground.  I think I see a tire swing in our future.  They loved it.  Savvy talked about how she liked scary stuff like this.  Jack quickly jumped in that he liked spicy stuff. 

Outdoor Lesson #3 you will not see any wildlife with noisy children unless said children and in a car with the windows rolled up :)

 One last stop on our adventure day was to the Trout Stream.
 We got here just in time for the water to be let out of the dam.  This is preceded by a very loud siren. I think I have lost some of my hearing since this didn't seem to be any louder than the screaming children I hear through the day.

One day these boys will be out there... 


This is what I do...edit all the gorgeous families and dream of the day mine will all sit still long enough for someone to click the shutter for us.  I see it being another 1 1/2 at least though I will surely keep on trying.  

Congrats Morgan you've made it!  Everyone (with a little persuasion) participated!  And each of your kids have stellar faces with gorgeous eyes!  Seriously the eyes on this family... and no one squinted too much which is really unusual for light eyed peeps.

So here you go ALL your kiddos can now be over the couch ;)  Enjoy!

I'm totally loving this one of all the kids!
 I feel like he is saying you are NOT going to get me to smile... HA!  You just wait kiddo. :)

 Mama knows her kids.  She said put them in a tree where they belong and viola perfect joyous smiles :)

 This was NOT the boys idea...

 FYI: Two of the most beautiful teenagers will be seen next.  

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