Fireworks over the Mississippi

Fireworks over the Mississippi - Memphis, Tennessee

Fireworks over the Mississippi – Memphis, Tennessee

Back during this year’s 4th of July weekend, I had just started my four state college tour with my son. We needed to be in Memphis by July 5th for the first college visit, so I did some planning to optimize my photography experience. After all, even though I’m doing my parental duties to look at institutions of higher learning, there’s no reason I can’t combine that with some photographic fun.

Memphis seemed like an interesting place on a number of levels. It’s a city with rich nightlife and there was a fireworks show over the Mississippi river, for the 4th. While I missed the opportunity to take more fireworks photos from the 360 Bridge in Austin this year, I figured a change in venue might be instructional as well as logistically necessary.

I brought my compact tripod, my wide-angle Olympus lens, the 9-18mm, and my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II as my primary tools. I scouted several possibilities in an alien city without much context. Where do they shoot the fireworks? How far does it go up? I made educated guesses and composed to get a surrounding view of Memphis, while trying to estimate the size and position of the pyrotechnic explosions.

I made multiple exposures with varying shutter speeds and slightly tweaked framing. The result — satisfied. I captured several decent explosions but settled on this one. Though, I do admit this photo has been enhanced, composited and otherwise optimized. I combined 3 images to create this — both to get a better foreground, as well as adding more fireworks for a more impressive showing. All in the name of art, of course, as well as recording a memorable evening in a new city, far away from home.

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