Birthdays – America’s and My Own

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Early July is always a blur for me, mostly because of America’s Independence Day (July 4th) and my own birthday two days later.  Last year I spent these days in Las Vegas, Nevada with my dad.  And for those of you who don’t know, Las Vegas is around 110 degrees F (~45 C) this time of year.  So it was a VERY hot experience, so I’m glad to be spending this year in the much cooler Northeast.

Fourth of July was busy where I spent most of the day at a friend’s house.  I can sum up my experience with this:

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Jumping into adulthood: Expectations vs Reality

Later that night I went to photograph some fireworks in my hometown.  Every year, the village performs a fireworks show that brings in hundred of people as far as Queens and other neighboring areas.  But for me, who hasn’t been to it in the past five years or so, it was my first fireworks show with a DSLR in my hands, so I knew I couldn’t miss this opportunity.

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After the shoot, I’ve learned a couple of things.  First, I’ve learned another lesson in composition, specifically when shooting with fireworks.  It doesn’t pay to be immediately next to the fireworks but maybe a couple of blocks away with some foreground interest.  I also wish that I wasn’t immediately under a tree.  I also experimented with my exposure, particularly shutter speed, and found that anything longer than 2 seconds is completely unusable, even when squeezing down on the aperture.  0.8 seconds turned out to be perfect.


I’ve never been one to make a big deal about my birthday and this year was no different. Although now that I have some money in my pocket, I might be looking to upgrade something with my camera kit.  I celebrated with friends a couple of days later with dinner and an “Escape the Room” event, where we got out with 20 minutes to spare.  It was fun, but I was hoping for something a bit more difficult and engaging.  I’ll definitely be doing it again and trying the more difficult rooms later.

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Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing

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