Monday, March 11, 2013

Hoisting the Fireworks

1/13  ƒ/3.5  ISO1600   18 mm
 This photograph was taken during the Chinese New Year Eve celebration at the Huang Qi Kwan Yin Temple, Dongguan, South China. The man in the center who works for the temple is hoisting up fireworks using a rope attached to the top of a Stone pillar. The fireworks in the photo were brought by the man to the right. I like the way the man is pointing at his fireworks as the temple worker seems to be holding them up for inspection. It is tradition to light fireworks during the new year in china to scare off evil spirits. Thousands of people came through this temple that night. After the man attaches the fireworks to the rope they will be hoisted up, out and over the ledge where they can explode without hurting any of the huge crowds of people. Thought most of the fireworks are set off like this a few strays are still set off here and there, you have to watch your step.

Photography tips: Taking photographs in low light can be tricky. You can use a tripod if you dont mind getting motion blur with longer exposures. The best option is to use a fast lens, like a 35mm 1.4 or 50mm 1.4. When you work with digital you can at least increase the ISO to gather more light and get sharper images(increased shutter speed). Of course you do sacrifice some image quality(some digital noise), but its all about priorities  What is more important, image quality or subject matter. For me subject matter and composition are far more important. For this image the higher ISO left a bit of noise but I find it only improves the feel of this photograph. I see too many beautifully crisp sharp images of boring things and not enough attention to subject matter these days. Taking photos is about story telling not making clean sharp photos of uninteresting things.

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