A couple of years ago sitting in my cousin's house in Bayonne, NJ an idea popped in to my head. Tilt shift fireworks! My thought process was pretty simple, I thought this method would produce a friendly, almost child like rendering of the fireworks instead of the harsh lines that are naturally captured. So with that, I've been pulling at a thread. My first attempt was 2010 in New York, second attempt was 2012 in Columbus, and now Washington DC.
Photos in order:
1. My initial setup was a 85mm portrait of the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, north of the Memorial Bridge. (Should have been a bit farther north) Without any fireworks it's a rather empty frame, but you can see just how much space you have to leave above your subjects. The kayakers were a welcomed treat. tech: D800 @ 85mm f5.6 ISO100 2.5s, tilted 6 degrees + ND filters
2. Same basic idea with horizontal framing. What you can see here is how differently the fireworks render from left to right. I believe I had a vertical plane of focus through the Lincoln Memorial so the left side of the image is in focus while the right is much softer. tech: D800 @ 85mm f5.6 ISO100 2.5s, tilted 6 degrees + ND filters
3. The differences between #2 & #3 are subtle. In my opinion, the sky in #2 is too smokey. With some patience and nice gust of wind the sky cleared. I also made an adjustment to my focus place from vertical to horizontal, rendering the entire sky nice and soft. tech: D800 @ 85mm f5.6 ISO100 2.5s, tilted 6 degrees + ND filters
4. There was a line of 50 photographers to my left. All pressed right up against the very edge of the water, they didn't want any people in there photographs. I thought that was understandable, but also pretty silly. I purposely set up just a bit further back, thinking that I specifically wanted to capture the experience of being there. To me, that meant including people. tech: D800 @ 24mm f4 ISO100 15s, tilted + ND filters