Midway through this December, Saturday afternoon, my daughter and I were in the Cab of my white 2000 GMC Sierra half-ton working our way through town and our list of errands. Not having read this week’s newspaper, The Echo, and without the town of High Level having a Twitter-feed we chanced upon the Santa Parade moving through mainstreet. Later, at supper, I learned about fireworks being among today’s events – at 6:00 p.m. the High Level Fire Department would begin a fireworks display. With all the night photography I’ve done, I hadn’t yet captured fireworks. I found my blue folder of Night Photography notes from Darlene Hildebrand (Her View Photography http://www.herviewphotography.com/ ), skimmed them, briefly, put my Canon 60 D on top of my Manfrotto tripod, changed lenses to my Canon 15-80mm zoom and set the shutter release for a 2-second countdown. The camera settings for the photographs I took are ISO 100, f-8 with an exposure of 13 seconds. I got to the fireworks site, aimed my camera into the sky toward an anticipated fireworks target area and made rough calculations for focusing to subject; using live view I adjusted composition area against where fireworks were bursting open and fell from; each of the 79 pictures taken are at a range of approximately 200-300 metres from the camera. Above, you’ll find some of the better exposures I snapped.
I’m going to study this picture. It does capture a sense of this being an outpost and a place to refit and refuel in night’s darkest hours. The intent, however, was to capture something iconic, a gas station lighting the night … it being more of a beacon for a point of rest before continuing on, more something you’d expect listening to John Mayer sing ‘Route 66’. High Level’s Shell Service Station is open 24/7 year-round and is midpoint between Edmonton, Alberta and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. In terms of the shot taken, it may be that the 50mm prime lens limits what can happen with plane of focus and composition; more movement on my part would be needed to find the right location and composition. Still, I like the crispness of most parts of the photograph. I may try a few shots looking more straight across to the service station one of these nights.