Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot ... (can't remember the rest).


November means to me, without doubt, fireworks, tomato soup, bangers and memories of my dad blowing up my school desk.

Just to clarify he was not a born again Guy Fawkes who wanted to blow up my school.  Every year dad, as an engineer, would plan a bigger, better Bonfire night than the one before.  Days were spent building a large metal platform for the bonfire.  Logs, paper, old rags were strategically positioned into place to get optimum burning time.  Me and my sisters were only allowed to make the Guy although that soon stopped when we used one of dad's best tweed jackets for his coat.  Hundreds of fireworks were bought and brought.  Family, friends & friends of friends were invited.  The dining table was stacked with huge vats of tomato soup, banger sausages and jacket potatoes individually wrapped in tin foil.  There was a running order for each firework to be lit and the grand finale of several going off at the same time.  Dad also gave a long lecture about the dangers and keeping well back.  We all nodded sheeplike and edged closer to the action as it happened.  As health and safety was so important to dad he had also made a large steel box to keep all the fireworks in.  Unfortunately on that night he found he had left it at work.  In a flash of inspiration he got my old desk and put them all in there.   The Borley firework display began and we all ooohd and aaahd in the right places.  It got a bit windy so dad found it made more sense to light the fireworks with a sparkler.  This worked beautifully for a while until a rebel spark splintered off into the uncovered inkwell of the desk.  Loud noise, light, smoke, coloured flames exploded before our eyes as we watched the most fabulous, spectacular firework display ever.

I didn't get to photograph it because cameras weren't really invented then.  The firework photo, if interested, was taken sitting on a punt with one of my sisters and friends on the river Cam at St John's College, Cambridge May Ball.  


Fabulous Fireworks

Untitled photo

Tips and Tricks - How to photograph fireworks:

1)   Wrap up warm and have a spare memory card and battery - cold weather drains the battery.  Tiny torch also handy to read the camera settings.

2)  Ideally use a tripod, cable release for the shutter, ISO low at 100, f11 and 1 sec, manual mode - experiment around these settings.  

3)  Don't stand too close.  Fire & fireworks can be dangerous.  Also think location, location, location.  Tripods are not crowd friendly.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In