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Every year my hometown hosts an international fireworks festival. It usually last for a couple of days, so it's a great opportunity to master photographing fireworks - in my opinion one of the most complicated things to capture with the camera. 

But why are fireworks so difficult to capture properly? 

First of all, when I say properly, I mean all of those things that make a great photograph - composition, exposure and some kind of a conceptional value - usually with story behind it.


Composition


How hard can it be, right? You set up your tripod, point a camera to the sky and wait for the fireworks to begin. You may know exactly where the fireworks are taking place, but you never now how high or wide it is going to be, so you need to be alert at all times and ready to rearrange you composition. 


Exposure


If you decide to go with the boring version of shooting only the sky, you probably won't run into problems. Once you set your exposure, although some rockets will generate brighter flashes than others, you are pretty much good to go. At this point, exposure values will vary from, lets say 1/10 to a few seconds, depending on how far you are willing to push.

On the other hand, things could get a little complicated if you want to capture something else beside the fireworks. Let's say you want to get a photograph of a couple of people watching fireworks beside the lake, like this one beneath. 


If you want to get the coast of the lake as bright as that one on the photo, you are looking at at least a couple of second exposure, at a higher ISO setting. The problem is, if you do that, your fireworks will be vastly overexposed. And of course, in contrary, if you get the fireworks right, you probably won't even see the coast of the lake.

The only solution to this is thinking outside the box. There are a few solutions, some more complicated than the others. The first one that came into my mind was to use an external flash and fire it by hand. Although the ex430 is pretty strong, the result probably won't be so satisfying.

The second one is the general idea to expand the dynamic range. HDR is one of the option, but honestly, I doubt  this one too would bring a satisfying result.

The third option, and the option I used, is to just bring the two photos together. The coastline of the lake is the border of two photos.


Concept


Once you get your technique right, it's time to put some conceptual value to the plate. As I said before, just plain photos of fireworks are pretty boring, but when you just bring a few people in frame, thing just get way more interesting. 


But in the end, it would be fair to admit that most of the time you just need a little luck. In 2007, at the last day of the festival, at the last fireworks, the last rocket, I somehow managed to capture this magical moment.


I get questioned a lot on what settings to use. The thing is - there is no universal setting for shooting fireworks. The best way to fireworks photos is just to experiment. The photo below wast taken with iPhone 4 (on auto setting of course). iPhone has a fixed shutter, the aperture is f:2.8; exposure is 1/15 of a second, and ISO speed was set to 1000. Trying the same on my SLR I was getting pretty decent results, but as I said before, it all depends what you are aiming for. Good luck.  


  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Fujichrome Velvia 50

Tue Oct 9, 2012, 5:23 PM


After shooting some architecture with Velvia 100, I've decided to have some fun with Velvia 50. Like the previous series, in this one I also used Praktica MTL5b and some Pentacon lenses (50mm f:1.8 and 29mm f:2.8, although I also own 200mm f:4 but for some reason I don't use it). I bought the film in late April this year in a shop called Praxis (pretty much the best place for buying photographic film in Croatia). To be honest, I've had a pretty shitty summer due to some postponed faculty related stuff, so pretty much nothing interesting happened, but some of these photos have a deeper background story (at least for me).


For instance, this photo of ficho's new bike. It was just a few days old when I took this photo. He crashed breaking a collar bone just a few days later, and because some complications, he can't ride a bike for two more years. I think he has even sold the bike in the meantime :(



On this one there are my three bike buddies. The one on the right just got a great job in Osijek, so he is moving there for a year and a half. I guess we won't do much mountain biking together for a while.



This is a classic landscape photo. Just like on all the others, no corrections of any kind were applied. These are the pure vivid colors of Velvia 50. The photo was taken with Pentacon 29mm f:2.8 @ something between f:8 and f:16 with 1/125 s exposure. Since it was a bright sunny day, if you take a look at this chart, you'll see  that my memory is probably right :).



Those few are from my grandma's garden. They are really special for me because she has terminal cancer, and honestly I don't know if I will be taking pictures of those garden dwarfs next summer :(.



On this one is my friend TCvetkovic, also a mountain biker, but as it turns out, a damn good barbecue maker. This was taken before one of the most epic barbecues I've ever had. And I've had some pretty epic barbecues. It was also the high point of my summer :D



This here is a cliché, but somehow, the more I look at it, the more I like it. I'd say it's the colors :D



This is the 4th lake i Maksimir park. The first photo was taken in late April, and the second one less than a week ago, in early October. Those two are the only photos that I had to pull out the blacks a little bit. The contrast was just a bit too strong.  

conclusion



Velvia is really a great daylight film with high-image quality, superb granularity, and world-class levels of image color saturation and vibrancy. I know this sounds crazy, but somehow all those relatively fresh memories appear much more vivid than on digital photos.

  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Novi Vinodolski 2011

Tue Aug 2, 2011, 3:52 AM
Like every year, this year I'm spending a couple of days in Novi Vinodolski. I haven't taken any photos for a while, so I was really thrilled about it. In the past week I've managed to get a few decent shots, and I hope I'll catch a few more in the next few days, before getting back to Zagreb.

I'm still using my old equipment. I really want to push beyond the limits of my 400D before purchasing another camera some day. This applies to all my Cookin filters as well :)


So, this is what I've managed to get so far:


Novi Vinodolski 2011 - 1 by hrvojemihajlic Novi Vinodolski 2011 - 2 by hrvojemihajlic Novi Vinodolski 2011 - 3 by hrvojemihajlic Novi Vinodolski 2011 - 4 by hrvojemihajlic Novi Vinodolski 2011 - 5 HDR by hrvojemihajlic Novi Vinodolski 2011 - 6 by hrvojemihajlic San Marino Island by hrvojemihajlic Purple Haze by hrvojemihajlic Lady and the lighthouse by hrvojemihajlic




Stay tuned, there is more to come...




Feel free to visit my portfolio - portfolio.hrvojemihajlic.com

  • Listening to: VH1
  • Reading: Michael Foley - The Age of Absurdity
  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Long time no see...

Journal Entry: Sat Jun 19, 2010, 8:28 AM
WOW... I haven't posted anything for a few months... or this entire year to be precise. I guess I was busy  :D - mainly with studying, writing   my own blog, starting  some other blog/project  (both in Croatian) and writing for an awesome Croatian magazine  Plan B, and even photographing for some clients.  

Anyway, summer is coming, which means I'll have more time for photographing :) I have a few ideas on my mind so stay tuned!  

P.S. I've also started my portfolio siteportfolio.hrvojemihajlic.com . Nothing special, just a small representation of my work through the years (LOL it sounds like I'm 100 years old). Feel free to comment, here or on the site :)

  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Glasanje - 'Jesen u Maksimiru'

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 6, 2009, 2:40 PM
Creative_mess v.1.2
hrvojemihajlic.com

Glasanje za nagradni natječaj "Jesen u Maksimiru je počelo". Glasajte za svoj favorita.

Nadam se da ovaj puta neće biti 6 glasova :D

GLASATI MOŽETE OVDJE -> blog.hrvojemihajlic.com/jesen-…

  • Reading: plan b
  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Jum - zavrsetak natjecaja

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 1, 2009, 5:25 PM
Creative_mess v.1.2
hrvojemihajlic.com

za one neupućene, radilo se o ovome - muha-cro.deviantart.com/journa…


Iskreno, da mi vrijeme to omogućuje još bi produžio rok. Pomalo sam razočaran što unatoč ne baš bezvrijednoj nagradi nije bilo više prijava. Tako je na koncu došlo svega 6, odnosno 7 radova. Ovom zadnjem radu Deviantart mi ne daje pristup, pa postoji mogućnost da ih zaista bude samo 6.


Ne znam što je bio glavni uzrok ovako malom odazivu, vjerojatno jednostavno nedostatak vremena. Pokušavao sam svašta, razglašavao na sve strane, čak sam nekim ljudima slao i note da se prijave, ali ništa :S … Skupila se tek šačica istinskih zaljubljenika koji su svoje radove odlučili podijeliti s ostalima, i upravo zbog toga (iako sam napisao da se mora prijaviti minimalno 10 radova) ću vrlo rado udijeliti subscription pobjedniku.

Glasanje tek trebam postaviti, strpite se još par dana.

još jednom, zahvaljujem se sljedećima:

*slatkatajna
~Quetzy
~bagba
~krvavameri
~silvia-kranjec
*seewolf
~NemesisInRed



Pozdrav do nekog sljedećeg natječaja :)

  • Reading: plan b
  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

JUM - produzenje roka natjecanja

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 14, 2009, 1:46 PM
Creative_mess v.1.2
hrvojemihajlic.com

Zbog samo 3 prijave, odlučio sam produžiti rok natjecanju. Sva ostala pravila vrijede i dalje (za one koji nisu uoznati evo muha-cro.deviantart.com/journa…). Nadam se ćemo sada uspjeti skupiti barem 10 radova.

Novi rok je 1.12.2009. Ko zna kako će teći ova jesen, možda nam opet dođe 20 stupnjeva :)

Da podsjetimo, nagrade su:

pobjedniku -

- feature u mom dnevniku i blogu

- tromjsečni subscription

- feature na  portalu fotografija.hr


drugo i treće mjesto -

- feature na mom blogu i dnevniku


želim dobro svjetlo svima :) :ahoy:

  • Reading: P. Zimbardo - Luciferov učinak
  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Nagradni natjecaj - Jesen u Maksimiru

Journal Entry: Fri Oct 9, 2009, 11:24 AM
Creative_mess v.1.2
hrvojemihajlic.com

  • Reading: P. Zimbardo - Luciferov učinak
  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Stock fotografija?

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 22, 2009, 2:54 PM
Creative_mess

  • Reading: naomi klein -no logo
  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Velvia 50

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 11, 2009, 6:45 AM
Creative_mess

  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Feature - 08.2009.

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 21, 2009, 10:15 AM
Creative_mess

  • Watching: analog TV
  • Eating: cool N
  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Maksimir Park Noir vol.1

Journal Entry: Wed Apr 29, 2009, 6:48 AM
  • Listening to: Buddy Guy
  • Reading: DPreview
  • Watching: DPreview
  • Drinking: Coke
Hrvoje Mihajlic Photography 2006-2009







Check out my new series - Maksimir Park Noir vol.1
   

High resolution prints and wallpapers coming soon!

If you like it - comment it!

Also let me know in what resolution would you like the wallpapers!

Maksimir Park Noir vol.1 - I by hrvojemihajlic

Maksimir Park Noir vol.1 - II by hrvojemihajlic

Maksimir Park Noir vol.1 - III by hrvojemihajlic

Maksimir Park Noir vol.1 - IV by hrvojemihajlic

Maksimir Park Noir vol.1 - V by hrvojemihajlic







My recent work



Zagreb Architecture vol.2





Prints

Summer edition
:shop3852477:
:shop3923193:
:shop3918149:






Do you have a Twitter account ???

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 25, 2009, 7:13 AM
  • Listening to: Buddy Guy
  • Reading: DPreview
  • Watching: DPreview
  • Drinking: Coke
Hrvoje Mihajlic Photography 2006-2009


Add me if you do :)


hrvojemihajlic
Twitter


My recent work



Zagreb Architecture vol.2





Prints

Summer edition
:shop3852477:
:shop3923193:
:shop3918149:






20 000 pageviews ! ! !

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 7, 2009, 9:14 AM
  • Listening to: Buddy Guy
  • Reading: DPreview
  • Watching: DPreview
  • Drinking: Coke
Hrvoje Mihajlic Photography 2006-2008


In little over 3 years here, I've managed to get 20000 of your visits on my page. I just wanted to say "thank you" to all the people that ever visited my site, and especially the ones who watch me and comment my work.

thank you all! :ahoy: :party: :boogie:


My recent work



Zagreb Architecture vol.2





Prints

Summer edition
:shop3852477:
:shop3923193:
:shop3918149:






Fotoblog (Croatian only)

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 6, 2009, 4:05 PM
  • Listening to: Buddy Guy
  • Reading: DPreview
  • Watching: DPreview
  • Drinking: Coke
Hrvoje Mihajlic Photography 2006-2008


iz puke dosade počeo sam sa pisanjem bloga :/

blog.hrvojemihajlic.com


imam tek jedan članak ali mislim da ću u budućnosti (ako se ispostavi da ovo šta valja :D ) nastaviti pisati u formi nekog foto-bloga s fotografijom + pričom. U širokom luku ću izbjegavati EMO i slične tematike :D


* svaki komentar, ma kakav on bio, se jako cijeni :)


My recent work



Zagreb Architecture vol.2





Prints

Summer edition
:shop3852477:
:shop3923193:
:shop3918149:






How I do a wedding :drool:

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 31, 2009, 7:45 AM
  • Listening to: Buddy Guy
  • Reading: DPreview
  • Watching: DPreview
  • Drinking: Coke
Hrvoje Mihajlic Photography 2006-2008


Click on the link
to see it.

I've seen some of this photos on his :icontomislav-moze: account, but when you go trough the whole series you really start to appreciate it properly :)

I find it really fascinating to make such great shots when about 99% of the photos are spontaneous. Almost every photographer with a bit of good taste can make a decent photo with a proper equipment in controlled environment, but this really takes talent to make

:drool:


My recent work



Zagreb Architecture vol.2





Prints

Summer edition
:shop3852477:
:shop3923193:
:shop3918149:






Winter by voorikvergeet Winter by marquis73 Blue Mist II by groby
winter by 1g4 Classical russian winter by doberman4ik :thumb76708644:
Winter Wallpaper by SvenMueller :thumb48383658: Winter. by JazzyJess
:thumb60682275: elves winter by ssilence Winter song by modjojojo
Forever winter by Dina-bv Winter Beauty by soulofautumn87 Entering Winter Wonderland. by incredi
Winter path by desmo100 :thumb109168085: Winter Forest by jjuuhhaa
:thumb107148924:   Cold winter days by Lomil-Gathiel :thumb62213561:
Refelection of Winter updated by mr-sarcastic1984 :thumb101478836: Winter Wonderland 18 by doruoprisan
Winter Wonderland 22 by doruoprisan winter landscape by Menipezz Winter morning by leenik
:thumb109635596: :thumb109036152: :thumb109273990:
The way... by vincentfavre :thumb109007916: Basmul Rusesc by a14onymus
Cold Morning by miki3d Winter in Trakoscan by d-minutiv elemental by KariLiimatainen


some of my work --->

Winter in Maksimir Park XII by hrvojemihajlic Winter in Maksimir Park XV by hrvojemihajlic Winter in Maksimir Park XVI by hrvojemihajlic
Curves 2 by DianaCretu
Great composition. The green color and curves make it look like a space ship. Pretty cool :)



:thumb82858371:
Talking about spaceships :D ... Interesting building and perspective. Perfect example of modern architecture. Square format is pretty clever :)



:thumb106416144:
Like a modern Colosseum :D Keep in mind that this was taken with a mobile phone ! ! ! Nicely done :clap:



:thumb105774107:
This one is got to be taken from some FPS map :D Perfectly symmetrical.



:thumb40142001:
Perfect usage of circular polarizator. It seems like the clouds are in the building :)



DAM II by joejoesmoe
Amazingly scrambled perspective :D Cubism in architectural photography :D



Vueling con Calatrava by pintosevich
This one really deserves a DD. Amazing composition mixed with an interesting model.



:thumb34662351:
I think I've cut myself just watching this :D Amazingly sharp, simple and perfect :clap:



Stairway To Heaven 1 by ceciliapham
Nicely done pattern. It seems that the focus is in the far left. Just right :D



london city tau by Metiu
I just love the round - square combination :clap: Nicely composed! Colors are very nice too.



sunday session 28 by ohyouhandsomeDevil
Ok I know I'm subjective about this one since it is from Zagreb :) , but I honestly think this is a great work. And it's analog! :boogie:



Secret Headquarters by passacaglia
The complexity here is just amazing! Everything else is like cherry on top :)



rOt4tiOn by genr
You got to admit this is a cliche, but a damn good one :D Perfect coloring and composition. From the angle I can assume it was handheld, and since it was 1/6 sec it is pretty sharp too :)



atomicMushroom by bosniak
There is no architecture here without bosniak, so here is one from him. Amazing composition and ability to create a perfect frame. The buildings are perfectly aligned in space, just like they are build specially for this photo. And on top of all that, the photo is just a symbol for a much greater story behind it all. Perfect :drool:




Some of my work :) ->
Zagreb's architecture II d by hrvojemihajlic Zagreb's architecture XI b by hrvojemihajlic Zagreb Architecture vol.2 -2a by hrvojemihajlic Zagreb's architecture I c by hrvojemihajlic
I don't know how long youtube is in HD, but it is :D :party: :clap:
youtube hd by hrvojemihajlic

Of course just a few videos are currently available in HD, but it is good to know that they are :D

And one tip for all. While some of you have probably noticed that some videos can be watched in high quality (not HD), you didn't knew that all the videos can be watched in HQ by simply putting the string &fmt=18 at the end of the URL.

Enjoy :ahoy:


click for HD preview

Promised features

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 4, 2009, 5:04 AM
  • Listening to: Buddy Guy
  • Reading: DPreview
  • Watching: DPreview
  • Drinking: Coke
Hrvoje Mihajlic Photography 2006-2008


I didn't forget ;) :ahoy: enjoy!


:thumb108294424:
An amazing waterscape. Tonemapping was just right. Dynamic range is very good too. You can almost taste the salty water :D



Low contrast and washed out colors are probably the things that make this photo so interesting.


isolation by thule-ri
Amazing composition! Again a wonderful dynamic range. The grass feels almost real!


The Last Winter by Klek
Minimalistic perfection.


Frozen octopus by d-minutiv
I'll give extra credit for manual focus ;) Although technically perfect, the title is even better :D


snowboard 'millennium' photo by frenky666
Very interesting group portrait! Wonderful composition.


Can it be January Already? by krvavameri
Amazing auto portrait. Dof was generated in PS but doesn't differ much from the real thing. Title is also in place.


paint job by bsq2phat
Interesting point of view is what made me to to feature this one.


:thumb91439472:
Great composition and focus.


something completely different by igs
You are right. This really is something completely different :D


a happy fellow by gazdapavo
C'mon! A look like this one :D I should order a print :rofl:


Susak 02 by malomorgen
I saw this on Jay Z feat. R.Kelly video almost 10 years ago :D


0:0 by Ilharess
It's simple mathematics :rofl: (don't even try to get this one... it's not that funny anyway :D )


White Valley by SteOS
Another minimalistic perfection, but this time, the tree is on the other side. You decide :D


:thumb106419019:
You should sell this one for a post card ;)


Silence Of Dusk by Andrejz
I knew Osijek is a beautiful town, but this is too much :D :ahoy:


My recent work



Zagreb Architecture vol.2





Prints

Summer edition
:shop3852477:
:shop3923193:
:shop3918149: