Fireworks over Lake Latonka
This was my first (and so far only) attempt at photographing fireworks. I actually forgot my tripod that night, so I took this photograph while lying on my back, with elbows squeezed to my side acting as de facto tripod. It was a tricky balance to strike, with a shutter speed fast enough to catch the fireworks crisply but not so fast that the shot was underexposed. The wide open aperture helped, but, like I said, the lack of tripod made the whole night one big experiment. Actually, what I remember most about that night was not the photography, but that it was my three-year-old son's first experience watching fireworks. He was terrified. We were on a neighbor's lawn, at the edge of Lake Latonka and right below the fireworks. He spent the first 15 minutes huddled in my husband's arms, with his hands glued over his ears. Every one of our attempts to leave, however, was met with stubborn resistance. He point-blank refused to go home. We quickly realized that his terror was matched only by his awe at the display of light. He was mesmerized. In that way, these photographs capture for me a small boy's headfirst dive into the unknown: equal parts beauty, awe, and an introduction to the sublime. And, perhaps, also my own headfirst dive into parenting a boy who has been an amazing, inspiring, and unstoppable force of nature in his own right.