Although Luxembourg’s “Nationalfeierdag” (National Holiday) is on June, 23rd, a big part of the celebration’s always done on the preceding evening. Luxembourg City’s streets are usually flooded with people from all over the country and quite a few friends from our neighbouring countries Germany, France and Belgium, join us for this fantastic event. There’s a parade by torchlight and (often live) music fills every pub and street. One of the highlights is always the big display of fireworks. This usually starts at midnight and goes on for ten to fifteen minutes. This year however, the start time was set to 11 p.m., one hour early, and there was also a change in the location with the rockets being shot from “Dräi Eechelen” instead of “Pont Adolphe” and “Vallée de la Pétrusse”. As neither Benny nor I had really tried shooting fireworks before, we decided to give it a go this year. We arrived in Luxembourg City around 9.45 p.m. and made our way towards a vantage point we had previously agreed upon. We took a few detours in order to avoid having to push and shove our way through the dense crowd, but finally arrived in the vicinity of our destination with about ten minutes to spare before the start. Unfortunately though we still had to run around quite a bit to find a spot with a view as there were many more people than we had expected already waiting, and a couple of spots we had thought about were actually sealed off due to safety reasons. A short time later, while we were still looking for a suitable place to set up our tripods, the show started with an impressive bang. We had missed our chance… Ah well, we settled down at the next free spot and decided to make the best of it. The pictures wouldn’t be something to write home about, but we would still have the opportunity to practice the technical challenge of getting the exposure right. I would never have expected it to be this difficult. The fireworks shots did turn out to be somewhat of a letdown…
… however, since we already were in Luxembourg City, we did spend about half an hour on some additional night shots. Quite like the resulting images :-)
So, lesson learned for event shooting:
- Even though you think you know your way around, show up (really) early!
P.s. all of the pictures are tripod shots at ISO100 with shutter speeds between 15 to 30 seconds, except for the last one which was handheld, ISO6400 for 1/8 second :-)