Unusual long exposure photographs of fireworks look like giant flowers in the night sky
By James Nye
Resembling giant three dimensional flowers with their plumes on display, these photographs were in fact taken at this months International Fireworks Show in Ottawa, Canada.
The bright and colourful images were snapped during Spain's entry into the competition and resulted from photographer David Johnson's efforts to add some spontaneity to his work.
Deviating from the standard exposure style that is common among photographers of firework displays, Johnson's decision caused him to fix his focus at certain points around the fireworks when they first went off, and then to refocus his lens at the point of detonation.
Canadian photographer David Johnson used refocusing techniques on a long exposure to capture his images of the International Fireworks Show in Ottawa, Canada earlier this month
'The technique I used was a simple refocus during the long exposure,' said Johnson, who is from Ottawa.
'Each shot was about a second long, sometimes two. I’d start out of focus, and when I heard the explosion I would quickly refocus, so the little stems on these deep sea creature lookalikes would grow into a fine point.
The arresting images resemble plant life or small microbes - all made possible by the exposure of up to two seconds on the detonation of the firework
Some of Johnson's images are surreal and look more like microscopic pollen, flowers or sea life
Like creatures of the deep: Johnson's photography brings a different angle to firework images
The colours in the photographs are amplified by the long exposure technique
'The shapes are quite bizarre, some of them I was pleasantly surprised with.'
The technique that Davey used would allow him to manipulate the shape of the fireworks, with his refocusing allowing them to be transformed into images which resembled sea creatures and flowers.
Johnson is an amateur photographer from Ottawa who has been developing his interest in photography for the past three years.
In addition to his long exposure work he details experimental, sports, animals, nature, traveling and abstract photography as his interests.
How is Long Exposure Photography Achieved?
Long-exposure photography is created by using a long-duration shutter speed on a camera to sharply capture the static point of images while blurring, or obscuring the moving parts.
The paths of moving light sources become clearer and are better observed. Long exposures are easiest to accomplish in low-light conditions such as night or in this example when the subject matter of photography is much brighter than the background
David Johnson photographed the Spanish entry to the International Fireworks Show in Ottawa, Canada
During the exposure of the shot, manually throw the shot out of focus to end up with an creative and interesting effect
The amateur photographer has only been taking pictures for three years