David Mathre Photography

Welcome to my Images of the Day Photo blog. My goal is to post images from each day of the year going back to 2006 when I got my first DSLR camera. Images I post on Google+ are also forwarded to this Photo blog. I am a retired chemist that worked nearly thirty years in the Pharmaceutical industry. I took my first DSLR camera on a road trip across the United States, and became hooked, with my new passion becoming a photographer. I now spend all my time traveling and taking pictures. Since then I have visited over 50 countries, many on Semester at Sea voyages. My photographic interests include travel, the natural world, landscapes, and photographic techniques. I always want to learn something new and the only way to become better is to learn from mistakes.



Montgomery Township New Jersey Independence Day Fireworks Video.

I finally had a chance to process the DSLR video of the 30-June-2011 Montgomery Township Fireworks display. The Nikon D3s is limited to 5 minute HD (720P) video segments. I ended up with three 5 minute segments. I left the in-camera sound recording on to get the sound effects of the fireworks. I also got commentary about the fireworks from a family sitting in front of my tripod. At one point you can hear a train whistle. The other clicking sound you can hear is the the shutter of my other cameras. I used Adobe Premiere Pro to combine the first and thrid segments, zoom in a bit so the firework display takes up more of the image, and increase the volume. I also used Premere Pro to add a title page to the video. The video was then saved in QuickTime H.264 HDTV 720P format uploaded to the ShepartPhotography SmugMug site.

Note that the video does not work in some older Browsers.

4 Responses to “08-July-2011”

  1. David Brooks says:

    I liked the movie. Question–how did you set the exposure and focus? It looked like the exposure settings were changing as the scene lighting changed. I think that added some interest (i.e. blue sky versus black).

    • David Mathre says:


      I was perplexed as to why the exposure changed during the video, but do agree that in the end it adds character to the overall video (just like the audio with the comments from the family sitting in front of my tripod). The lens was a 85 mm f/1.4G which I focused to near infinity, set the lens to manual and taped the lens so the focus would not change. I also set the camera to manual (1/50 sec, f/2). What I can’t remember is what the ISO was set to. Unfortunately, the data saved with the video file is not a detailed as the EXIF info with a regular image. I am guessing that Auto ISO was on – which normally I would have thought would be a mistake.


      • Michael Mariant says:

        Actually, I don’t think the exposure is changing at all. The fluctuations, including the sky going blue, is the illumination from the intense immediate ‘explosion’ of the firework rocket. If Auto ISO was set, the fluctuations would be very extreme, as it tries to compensate for near darkness to sudden bright light.

        Great video!

        • David Mathre says:


          It is too bad that I can’t get camera setting information from the video image file that is saved. The last still image that I took before the video was ISO 800, so at most the ISO would have fluctuated would be between ISO 200 and 800 (2-stops). The camera is set for 1/3 stop steps, so 6 steps between brightest and darkest — but I do not know if this translates to the video mode in this camera.

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