2021 Fireworks, Part 1

Background. Last year, I was fortunate to photograph a post-graduation fireworks show at the Jericho Drive-In, which made me very happy. That photo of the fireworks, alongside the distinctive Jericho Drive-In sign, received a “Best of” award at the 2020 Big E online photography competition, so I’m happy for that.

Graduation with a Bang. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

This year, the Jericho hosted a special fireworks and family night, and I decided it was time for another movie night. And by “movie night,” that meant photographing the fireworks, then sitting through the first film – the animated Spirit Returns, which was a pretty decent children’s movie – and then scooting home (no reason to see Fast and Furious 9 if I haven’t sat through the other episodes yet).

I arrived at the Jericho in plenty of time … but man, there was a lot of rain. The drive-in grounds were a quagmire of muck and mud. But I had to park somewhere.

And luckily for me, there was a spot right near the concession stand. One order of popcorn, some tasty onion rings and a diet cola later …

I set up my camera – Nikon Df with the ultra-wide Irix lens – in front of the concession stand. Thankfully, that allowed me to stay dry as long as the camera and I stayed underneath the concession stand’s overhang.

It also meant I had to answer lots of questions from people passing by.

  • “Yes, the bathroom’s on the other side of the concession stand.”
  • “The sound will be on 98.9 FM on your radio.”
  • “No, I’m photographing the fireworks for my blog.”
  • “No, I’m not with the Times Union.”
  • “You should try the onion rings here, they are delish.”

Meanwhile, I’m trying to set up my locale and get everything dialed in.

Here’s where I’m at.

Pretty strong location. It seems far away, but I’m also trying to allow for any height adjustment.

Then, at about 9:00 p.m., there was a message on the drive-in screen.

And in case you’re wondering … those light horizontal lines that go across the picture, connecting to the drive-in screen – that’s actually the light from the projector, as it passes through thousands of raindrops on its way to the screen. Nice effect.

And then came the booms.

Check this opening shot out.

I tilted the camera up just a tad, to get a better shot upward…

Check out this clickable gallery.

The only drawback I had was that because of the rain, many of the shots were clouded with hanging smoke. But I still pulled some great images out of the photo shoot.

Much thanks to the Jericho Drive-In and Twist Ice Cream for letting me photograph the fireworks. Had a great time.

I always do have a great time at the Jericho. Trust me on this.