Seeing Red


Fireworks will always be fun to shoot, period.

Seeing Red – 4th of July // Kirkland, IL

It’s fun to go back and see all the different shapes and colors of the fireworks from the evening. You can see the little sparks flying off the main burst, creating a halo around the shape.

Seeing Red Kirkland William Woodward

Spider Legs


Goal:  Have an image used on a billboard.

Spider Legs, Kirkland, Illinois // 4th of July Fireworks

We really lucked out with a spot to watch the fireworks this year, as there were only 2 left available from a location that I wanted to shoot. I’ve always thought it would be awesome to get some ‘aerial’ shots of fireworks, closer to the height that they were actually going off.

After the first location idea didn’t work out, another one opened up that I think ended up being a great spot. As the sun had just set, there was still some blues in the sky and you could see the trails of the fireworks lighters setting them off in order with their flares.

See some of last year’s fireworks shots at


Spider Legs William Woodward

Fireworks with a Glow

Under Construction! 

When it rains it pours.  It seems that my laptop has had the wonderful issue of needing to be sent back to the manufacturer, in order to get a couple of issues looked at.  Nothing serious, but I’ll likely be without it all of next week.  On top of that, the following two weeks we’ll be putting the finishing touches on the COMPLETELY RE-DESIGNED WEBSITE!!! Needless to say I’m excited 🙂  But these two events happening at the same time will unfortunately string my time a little thin, and I believe I’ll probably step back to only a couple of photos a week.  Updates will be coming as they arrive, but we’ll be back in full swing by the end of the month!  Thanks for continuing your support!

Fireworks with a Glow

This was one of those ‘slam on the brakes that scene was awesome’ moments.  I would say that something like that, where you’re completely not out looking for a photo, but one just slaps you in the face as needing to be taken only happens once in a great while, but when it does, it’s super exciting.  This lonely fireworks stand was somewhere in northern Illinois or southern Wisconsin, on some rural road.  The folks running it were travelling with this big tent and a load of fireworks, staying in motels and making a few different stops during the holiday season.  We had a nice across the street while taking photos conversation, and after I was happy with the shots, I stopped in for some fireworks!

Photo tip from this shot, even though you are shooting HDR, as long as you are on a tripod, the photos that you use don’t have to be from the same set of brackets.  Say, for example, your +2 exposure had a car passing by that you found distracting, take the same set of brackets again, and use the +2 from that series.  It’s an easy way to get the best scene that you envision.

Fireworks Illinois William Woodward

Standing Guard

Standing Guard

I’m getting to a situation that I’ve never been in before.  Too many photos!!  Most times I find that I’m trying to keep up with finishing a new photo every day, and I hate to say it, but it’s led me to take some shortcuts and make some less than stellar work.  Well it seems that tide has turned, and this new laptop has turned me into a photo churning machine!

Today’s photo is from back at the 4th of July, and I have been holding onto it in my “waiting to post” queue for quite a while now, as I try to get a nice mix of photos and topics.

Standing Guard Illinois William Woodward

Let the Lighting Begin!

Let the Lighting Begin!

I am finally getting my photography library in a new and improved order, with all sorts of categories and filters and fun stuff!  I hope that this will allow me to process a greater range of photos at any given time, and really experiment with techniques across different periods in my photography life.

I am more than excited about how some of these fireworks photos turned out.  It was so much fun to be set up in the front row, getting a great view of the action up close and personal.

Lighting Begin Illinois William Woodward