Summer 2018 Activities

We have suspended our monthly meetings.

We do have one activity for the Summer, though: Fireworks Photography!

What: Photograph the fun July 4th Celebration and Fireworks in Cedar Park!

When: July 4th 5pm (fireworks at dark)

Where: Elizabeth Milburn Park, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd. (map)

Interested?  Make sure you fill out the form at the bottom of this web page!

The Fourth of July Celebration in Cedar Park is always fun!  The celebration begins at 5 p.m. and takes place at Elizabeth Milburn Park. The event features live music, bingo, a washer tournament, air castles, free watermelon and an excellent fireworks display.  They also have food concessions, face painting, and carnival games and rides.  You may also cool off in Milburn Pool, which is open from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.! (Daily admission rates apply.)  It is a fun family-friendly event and you can avoid the crowds of the larger events like Auditorium Shores.

Learn more about the event by going to the Cedar Park website (click here).

Here are some tips that you might find helpful:

If you arrive early, you might find a great parking place at the red star or green star locations below.  If those spaces are full, you might consider parking at Cedar Park High School which is just about 3 blocks away.  The best vantage point to photograph the fireworks is at the blue star, and the fireworks are launched from the field with the yellow star.   The event begins at 5pm.  Try to arrive early and set up your lawn chairs and blanket in the blue star area below, and then wander around and enjoy the food and bands and other fun activities.

Fireworks Photography Tips

  • You might want to bring a small flashlight or use your smart phone to shine light on your camera once it is dark, so you can see buttons and adjust settings.
  • Use a tripod!
    • When you are positioning your tripod think about
      • Where the fireworks will go off
      • What’s framing your photos
      • Pay attention to any distracting lights
      • Watch horizons
      • Horizontal/vertical shots
      • Wind / smoke considerations
    • Use a cable release to trigger the shutter without touching the tripod (which would add vibration)
    • OR set the camera on a 2 second delay so your hand is not on the camera when it actually fires the shutter
  • Focus: Switch the camera/lens to manual focus and then prefocus on where the fireworks will be (autofocus won’t work well at all for fireworks, especially if you open the shutter right when the fireworks are launched).  Occasionally double check to make sure you haven’t accidentally bumped the focus wheel though.
  • Use Manual Exposure Mode (try these settings and adjust as needed)
    • White Balance: Daylight
    • ISO: 200
    • Long Exposure Noise Reduction:  You might want to turn this off.  Otherwise, every time you take a photo, there will be a delay before you can see the results.
    • Aperture: f/5 for brighter fireworks, f/9 for a little darker w/richer colors (generally f/4 – f/11 will be the range when shooting at ISO 200)  (as you are shooting, check your results and vary as needed, noting that the aperture is what you’ll use to adjust the brightness of the fireworks)
    • Shutter Speed: Somewhere between 2.5 – 10 seconds
      (as you are shooting check your results and vary as needed, noting that the shutter speed is what you’ll use to adjust the lengths of the streaks of light, not brightness)
  • Have fun!

Want to join us for the fireworks fun?  Let us know! Complete the form below:

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