Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shooting Fireworks

The Fourth of July is nearly upon us. When you ask what people think of first, it is usually fireworks. I’m both blessed and cursed in this matter of fireworks. God has allowed me for several years now to supplement my income by shooting professional fireworks displays.

We shoot shows for churches, cities, athletic teams, birthdays, weddings, and almost any occasion. However, July Fourth is by far the time when we shoot the most. While there is little danger associated with watching a professional fireworks display, there is always the danger of operator error, or a manufacturing error, or even a mechanical error. Such errors always put the pyrotechnician at risk.

The photo at the left showed me shortly after I had made a terrible error while shooting a show in October of 2001 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This photo is why people must be very careful around fireworks.

I’d like to show you some of the things we’ve done.

The Mississippi Braves located in Pearl, a suburb of Jackson, Mississippi is a farm team of the Atlanta Braves. Each Friday home game features a fireworks extravaganza following the game. The fireworks are colorful and designed to create a widely varied effect as they are shot to various musical themes.

The First two photos on the left along with the lead in photo at the top were taken following Braves Games.

The photo to the left was taken from across the lake as we shot the Meridian, Mississippi Fourth of July Show in 2004.

The shot below shows the Meridian show in 2005 after it is set up and the crew is relaxing with a fishing pole.

The photo to the left shows the lake and the firing location for the Meridian show. The Audience is located across the lake

This photo shows a moderately small finale wrapped in tin foil to prevent premature ignition.
The racks contain tubes called mortars.

In this photo the shooter is about to begin hand lighting with a road flare.

This is part of the finale for the Meridian, MS show for July Fourth 2004

More of the Braves Friday Night Show

The fans always give thunderous applause at the Braves show.


Amanda said...

So....I'm just wondering do you still have two eyes??? Thats a horrible picture. My goodness I hope everything went okay after that. It looks like you got in an awful bar fight or somthing.

Mike Rasberry said...

Yes, Amanda. Didn't you see that handsome figure of a man eating at the restaurant in China with my lovely wife at the top of the blog???

I'm now as handsome and sweet tempered as ever. :-)

Amanda said...

mmm. I wasn't sure if that was before or after. Phewf!