Thursday (30-June-2011) — New Jersey

Summer in 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 camera 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 is the shutter of my other cameras. I used Adobe Premiere Pro to combine the first and third segments, zoomed in a bit so the firework display takes up more of the image, and increased the volume. I also used Premiere Pro to add a title page to the video.


Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer updating images in My Image of the Day Photoblog, and My eBird (with images of nearly 450 bird species). hope post COVID-19 to be a world traveler again. My interests include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, sky, and seascapes, travel, and astrophotography. I look for unique ways of viewing the world and presenting my images. I have traveled to over 55 countries in six continents, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on home renovation and expansion of a wildflower garden/meadow.

4 thoughts on “Thursday (30-June-2011) — New Jersey”

  1. 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).

    1. David,

      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.


      1. 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!

        1. Thanks!

          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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