Let Freedom Sparkle

Happy (belated) Fourth of July! While today was certainly not as exciting as Independence Day, I got to do one of the things I love to do best – editing photos! I spent the day with my Mom and sister and showed them this blog post about photographing words with sparklers, and lucky for me, they were totally in.

Before we could get into taking photos, we decided to get Mexican food (I know, totally American, right?) and make some patriotic treats! The original fish taco plate from Rubio’s always hits the spot, and after raiding Fry’s earlier in the day we have enough red, white, and blue food for a feast!

The first thing we made were red, white, and blue shortcakes. Extremely simple and bite-sized treats, all you need is angel food cake (or individual shortcakes you can usually find near the strawberries), whipped cream (used Reddi Whip, but you could use Cool Whip, too), and any combination of berries you want. In this batch we used strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

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These little cakes were light and tasty…and gone in about 10 seconds!

After watching two hours worth of So You Think You Can Dance and waiting for the sun to go down, we headed outside with sparklers in tow to start taking photos. Since I don’t own a tripod, my setup was extremely glamorous: my camera sitting on top of one of my Mom’s bar stools. It actually ended up working out pretty well, since the padding gave me extra stability and height to the camera.

For the writing, I shot in shutter priority mode in order to control the amount of time the shutter stayed open in order to capture the entire word or image. We found that the small sparklers worked long enough to write an entire word, but you could also use the longer ones that burn for over a minute or so. For my name the shutter was open for 5 seconds.

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After that I picked up my camera and decided to take some photos of my Mom, my sister, and my sister’s boyfriend when he showed up.

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I’m lucky my family are such good sports about my attempts in photography and that I got to spend the Fourth of July with them!

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