:: Northern Lights : Spokane ::

Check out this beauty! I was in bed in Spokane struggling to sleep when I got a phone call demanding I go outside and look north. I am sure glad that I did. The northern lights were shining bright so I grabbed my camera and headed out to shoot the aurora borealis over Idaho. I’ve never seen them looking so bright and fantastic as they did the other night. Three cheers for elevated solar activity! I parked myself at the boat launch on Hauser Lake and watched the northern lights dance across the sky for hours. It’s such a magical feeling seeing something that so few people get to see.

aurora borealis northern lights over north idaho hauser lake

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Lacey LaDuke Photography

Call me: (541)954-2458 or (509)954-3885

Email Me: LaDukePhoto@Gmail.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LaDukePhoto

How to Photograph Fireworks

Have you ever tried to snap a picture of a fireworks display and ended up with a bright rainbow squiggle or completely dark frame? Photographing fireworks is a bit of a daunting task for some.  Once you know the basics you will be able to capture the classic images and have the skills to experiment and make them creatively unique to you. Below you’ll find a list to get you on your way, so grab your camera and head out to Alton Baker, Island Park or The Eugene Rodeo and hone your firework photography skills!

  • Bring a tripod. Firework photos require long exposures, sometimes several seconds. If you are trying to hold your camera by hand you’ll end up with lots of brightly colored squiggles from the movement, but no breath-taking fireworks.  Setting the tripod so that it is secure is also important. Keeping the legs short and level will help avoid camera shake from wind or from you adjusting the camera itself.
  • Manually Focus. There are two main ways to go about this. One method is to autofocus on something that is a great distance away, such as buildings that will be in your shot or a bright star, or even on the first set of fireworks and then switch it over to manual. The other way (and my preferred method) is to turn the lens to manual focus and turn the focus ring to infinity (∞) and leave it there. Fireworks are generally far enough away that this will work just fine.
  • Use low ISO. This is your camera’s light sensitivity. Set it low to a number between 100-200 to avoid getting grainy noisy photos. This will also help force a longer shutter speed if your camera does not have manual controls.
  • Slow Shutter Speed. If your camera has manual controls set it to Shutter priority (Tv) or to Manual (M) and select a shutter speed that is a few seconds long. If you are setting your aperture in manual f/8-f/16 will usually serve you well and can be adjusted as needed.  If your camera has a Bulb (B) setting and you have a remote definitely use this. Set your aperture between f/8 and f/16 and open the shutter to capture the entire firework and then click the button to close. Adjust aperture settings as needed for desired brightness (f/5.6 will give you brighter skies, f/16 will be much darker)
  • Remote/Timer. If you have a remote for your camera use it. If not set the 2 second timer. by doing this you avoid any camera shake that may happen when you press the shutter button.
  • No Flash. Unless you are lighting a subject in your foreground I would advise you to turn it off. Even if you ARE lighting a foreground subject you may want to use a flashlight rather than a flash for a more interesting painted effect.

Last but not least once you’ve had a chance to figure out what settings you really like take some time to get creative. Think about interesting compositions, light painting your foreground or maybe adding longer or shorter exposures to manipulate your images. Flexing your creative muscles to personalize your images is one of the greatest joys of photography. Good luck and Happy Independence day!!

See more images from last years’ display at Kings Beach on Lake Tahoe!

Fourth of July fireworks

Lacey LaDuke Photography

Call me: (541)954-2458 or (509)954-3885

Email Me: LaDukePhoto@Gmail.com

Give me some love on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LaDukePhoto

Landscape Photography

Have you ever been somewhere so beautiful that it’s hard to find the words to describe it? Do your cellphone photos not do it justice when you are trying to describe the perfect sunset at the end of a hike in the northwest or sunrise over Utah? Whether it is close to home or on a far off adventure I’ve got a multitude of beautiful shots that will look great framed in your den or office or even just on your fridge to show your friends where you’ve been or where you dream of visiting. This portfolio is constantly evolving with my travels, be sure to check back regularly or contact me if you are looking for something specific.

Contact Me —– Visit The Gallery

Explore Additional Landscape Photos