Tom Firing His Musket Under the Stars, Uhlerstown


At the start of every year my friend Bo Hahn, an ophthalmologist and pyrotechnician who lives a few miles south of Durham Township, puts on a fireworks show as a gift to the community. The event takes place in a large farm field in Uhlerstown, Bucks County, directly across the Delaware River from Frenchtown, New Jersey. Cohort Tom always kicks off the show by firing his musket.

I've tried photographing Tom the last three years. The first year I messed up the exposure, the second year Tom didn't stand still long enough. This year worked out on both counts for the most part. It's a challenging photographic situation because it happens only once per year and lasts only 5 seconds! It's pitch black and freezing cold in that field -- but I'm always happy when I get another crack at it. :)

Thanks, Bo and Tom!

Camera settings and post-processing: Shot with the Canon EOS 5D and the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens at 24mm, ISO 1600, f/3.2, shutter 5 seconds (used tripod & cable release). Converted to monochrome with the Gradient Map, curves adjustments, color balancing.

Thanks for visiting Durham Township!



What amazes me is how you got him to stay still for 5 seconds...

Posted by Ben at February 19, 2008 12:20 PM

Great, great use of long exposure. You really bring out the power of the gun in a visual sense. Awesome work!

Posted by Ryan at March 11, 2008 6:55 PM

that is SOOOOO amazing. you inspire me to be a photographer. :-)

Posted by David at July 31, 2008 5:02 PM

Really nice! Good work!

Posted by Fotografia slubna at August 1, 2008 8:41 AM

This is really an awesome! Great work!

Posted by Billigflüge at September 25, 2008 11:34 AM

Your work is truly art and amazing images. You inspire me to become a better photographer. Actually looking at your work makes me feel better than any anti-depressant on the market!

Posted by zFortune at October 8, 2008 3:42 AM

wow! this looks sureal!

Posted by elqine at February 23, 2009 9:49 AM

looks like unusual shut really. By the way you idea to make focus a bit longer front plane is greate! Merry Chrystmas and Happy new Year!

Posted by sergey at December 26, 2009 7:37 AM
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