One of the things I love most about my apartment here in Ottawa is the view at night. Most evenings, it’s an expansive view of the market. Every once in awhile, however, I hear minor explosions off in the distance. Given that it’s Ottawa and not someplace more dangerous, that sound means fireworks. In the summertime, just about every festival included a fireworks display so I’ve had a lot of practice doing spur of the moment photography.
As Fall gave way to Winter, the sky has been quiet. Until last night. It took me a minute or two to associate the sound with something that required me to get up from the couch. Not only were there fireworks lighting the sky, but the launching spot from my vantage looked to be right between the US Embassy and the art museum. A perfect spot to catch those buildings lit up with the fireworks.
I’m in pre-packout sort mode so my photography gear is in several piles — stack for storage, stack to ship to Pakistan, and small bag o’ stuff to take on the plane. Putting together what I needed to shoot, particularly not knowing how long the fireworks would last, would have been quite comical if anyone had been here to watch the mad scramble and rapid assemble. Tripod in the closet. Camera in the bedroom. Damn, wrong camera — need the one in the other closet that has the tripod plate. Battery from the charger. CF cards still on the desk from the last shoot. Set it all up on a chilly balcony completely covered in snow from the storm a couple days ago. No time for a jacket. Can’t find the remote cord.
Anyway, got it all set up, adjusted the settings and started firing away. It was a nice display, but I wasn’t sure if I captured anything particularly unique until I spent some time editing. This shot jumped out from group (click on the small image below to blow it up). I wish I could say it was all planned and that I have amazing timing, but sometimes the best shots are just pure luck. I’m presuming the fireworks guys intended it to look like a ski masked face grimacing over the Byward Market, with maybe a little face next to it. Whether intentional or not, it looks particularly ominous to me sitting right on top of the US Embassy as if Lord Voldemort were on his way.
For fireworks fans, here are eight more shots from the evening’s display.