4th of July Fireworks

My American friend, Chris Raborn, the solo explorer, wanderer and born again photographer sent me a message just now with a picture “Thanks for the fireworks tips. I like how this turned out”

It is the Louisiana State Capitol Building in capital city Baton Rouge. Louisiana time is GMT -5 and it is around 1:30 am there local time now. Well done, Chris. We met when he was working in South East Asia.

“Thanks! You always have good photo tips” he added when I told him I am going to share it, Chis is at @chris.raborn.photography on IG.

Find a hotel in Baton Rouge via Mycen Hotels here:

I featured a picture from him at the holiday congested Yellow Stone National Park in April this year. He made my day to know I played a small part in the Independence Day celebrations.

#fireworks #4thofjuly #independenceday #louisiana #batonrouge #usa

Fireworks Shooting Tips For 4th Of July

Happy 4th of July to my dear American friends. Here are some fireworks shooting tips for you. If you are taking a break, you can still find many hotels via MyCen Hotels at http://www.mycen.my/ Every American city and town is covered.

I am tagging Malaysian friends residing there too. Sorry if I miss out anyone inadvertently.

Share with a neighbor, classmate or colleague. Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day To The People Of USA.

Happy 4th of July to my many followers and friends from the land where Ikea is known as Eye-Kea :-). Hope you enjoy photographing the fireworks later tonight. Thought I’ll share with you some tips on shooting fireworks.

As beautiful as each burst is going to be, it is less meaningful if each is photographed in the sky by itself. When someone look at the pictures later, the fireworks could have been photographed in Dubai, London or Hong Kong. The black sky is the same anywhere in the world. Try to also frame some shots with a recognisable landmark where practical.

To do that, it means going out early, finding out where the cannons are erected and walking around to scout for a suitable vantage point. There are no short cuts. Good fireworks photography requires research, planning and legwork.

Where there are no landmarks, you may want to include the celebratory ambience such as the surrounding crowd. With moving humans you need to increase your shutter speed a bit. But doing that will also reduce the streak effects of the fireworks. The trick is finding an optimum balance for both the ground and sky action. Have fun!

Olympus OM-D, ISO 3200, f4, 1/40 sec.

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#fireworks #landmark #fourthofjuly #4thofjuly #usa #celebrations #photographytips #independenceday

The 101

The 101

Taipei’s iconic Taipei 101 landmark was officially classified as the world’s tallest skyscraper when completed in 2004, and remained such until the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2009. Was tough finding a decent pic as the standalone solitary tower is hard to photograph in front of a bright sky. It is still the tallest and largest ‘green’ (environmentally responsible) building in the world.

It was not only the first building in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height, but also the world’s tallest building at one time. It used to have the fastest elevator or lift in the world, traveling at 60.6 km/h and transporting passengers from the 5th to 89th floor in 37 seconds. In 2016, the title for the fastest elevator was given to one in Shanghai Tower. Info from Wikipedia.

I remember 張進金 – Zhang Jin Jin, a Taipeh resident and fellow photography enthusiast, posting some gorgeous pics of he tower with fireworks shooting out on New Year’s Eve 2017.

I contacted him to obtain permission to feature his pic.Of course, there is much more to see in Taiwan with its unique history and geographical location. Hope to look at some other provinces and cities in the Island of Taiwan soon.

Book a room in Taipei at special discounted rates here:


#taiwan #roc #iireworks #fujian #china #island #travel #mycenhotels​

Additional comment by journalist Rian Maelzer: “I interviewed the architect and the master developer. One key feature is its ability to withstand the frequent typhoons that batter the island as well as the possibility of earthquakes. It has a sort of giant pendulum counterbalance at the top of the building to offset the sway. Taipei 101’s design is inspired by bamboo.”

Pretty Picture With An Ugly Backstory

If you park in the mall basement, you are forced to return to the car park by walking through the very long vehicle tunnels after midnight. All human exits and access were closed due to the enormous crowd and security concerns. Not a pleasant walk when you have to lug your heavy tripod and camera gear. Pity those with young kids or elderly parents.

The standalone multi-storey car park behind was ideal but it is now closed and to be demolished. Park your car outside on the roads and it can get ticketed or towed away. Going back home and negotiating the crazy gridlock is another nightmarish story.

To secure a good camera spot and to avoid traffic congestion, one may need to go as early as 9pm. Many eager beaver photographers ended up pointing their cameras at the wrong direction through wrong prediction or guesstimate. Talk about over planning and early set up. There was always a last minute scramble to re-frame or even to change to a wider lens. The fireworks will usually shoot higher than the towers. Use a wide zoom for flexibility,

A close proximity spot presents another problem. Hot debris and burning ash remnants from the sky will rain on your head and equipment. Wear a hat, don safety goggles and cap your lens in between.

There was another struggle or scramble. Getting the exposure correct in the first minute or two after first ignition. The surroundings will be obscured by a pall of lingering or trapped smoke; destroying your pics.

The results may be pretty but the backstory is ugly.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f10, 1.3 sec.

#newyearseve #newyear #nye #fireworks #countdown #bungaapi #petronastwintowers #malaysia #sonyalpha #a7r #zeiss #tbt

Happy New Year 2017

Among them were American Chris Raborn, fellow Malaysian Kok Han Low and Indonesian Pantjoro Prakosa, to name a few. Delighted to make your acquaintance.

Will be sending this as a hand crafted, personal greeting card to valued friends tomorrow onwards. With the recent Christmas card experience in mind, please do not reply with a flashing gif that can trigger an epileptic fit. A simple text reply is good enough. Thank you.

This was the last time we stood on the multi-storey car park which is now closed. It has sacrificed itself for a good cause. I think it will save Ampang Park from demolition and become the location for the new MRT station.

Happy New Year 2017.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f3.7, 0.5 sec.

#fireworks #newyear #newyearseve #nye #skyline #kualalumpur #petronastwintowers