Every Friday night, the Hilton puts on a short fireworks show on Waikiki Beach. The popular show starts at around 7:45pm and lasts about 10 minutes. It’s a nice way to begin the weekend. Inevitably, when on vacation, I lose track of time and I almost missed it this year. Luckily my wife reminded me.
Like in past years, I setup my tripod behind the Outrigger Reef hotel. It gives a good vantage point, down the slightly curving coast line, to where they shoot the fireworks. The crowds seem larger than ever and I setup in the water, so that I would have an unobstructed view.
I blogged about this event back in 2010 and I’m still shocked that 6 years have already passed. I was using a bulky Canon 7D DSLR back then and with the advances in technology, I now shoot better quality with my svelte Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. While I used a super-wide angle, I opted to zoom in to a 36mm equivalent, creating a tighter crop than my 2010 version.
The key to fireworks, I believe, is showing the context. Both the 2010 and 2016 versions are framed differently, but you can tell they were shot on the beach. Contrast this with my Memphis Fireworks Photo during the Fourth of July. Fireworks can look about the same, but it’s the surroundings that change and adds variety.
Tripods are a must for high quality and even advanced image stabilization isn’t good enough yet. I used a 5 second shutter set at ISO 200. I didn’t shoot many serious photographs on this trip, but I’m glad I brought the tripod, if only to create this image.
As expected, most everyone defaulted to their smartphones. A few people had more substantial cameras but without tripods. I wonder if they are satisfied with their shots? Probably.
I contend, most people don’t truly care about image quality, rather it’s about recording the experience. That maybe a good thing. Serious photographers, like me, can get too wrapped up trying to create that perfect shot. I’ve gotten pretty fast at what I do, though. And the small mirrorless cameras greatly reduces my overhead for serious photography.
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