Fourth of July at the Baha’i Temple

I’ve been spending some time going through my old photo collection on Lightroom and I came upon a set that I had done two summers ago during the Fourth of July fireworks in Wilmette. I was trying to find some example of long exposures. As I went through this collection, I realized that every shot in the folder of 900+ images was a long exposure of some sort. Most of the 900 were fireworks shots that didn’t turn out right and I deleted. And I think that the number of images was the reason I avoided going back to this folder. But as I went through, I found so many shots that I enjoyed editing. Editing the images brought back memories of a fun, warm summer night.

I did get one a classic shot of the Baha’i Temple.



I was planning to set up on the beach to shoot the fireworks, but a couple thousand other people beat me to it.



If you couldn’t get a spot on the beach, there was plenty of room on the lawns of Gilson park. Vendors were selling glow sticks. And they sold a lot of them.



Once the fireworks started, since I couldn’t fit myself on the beach, I wanted to find a location where I could shoot something in the foreground of the fireworks. Well, the Baha’i Temple is one of the most fabulous pieces of architecture on this continent. Maybe I’ll try that.



All of my fireworks pictures kinda looked the same so I went for a tight crop on this one.


How about a really tight crop and maybe one other little trick?


When the fireworks ended, I kept my tripod set up in the same position so that I could get a good exposure of the temple to maybe blend with the fireworks images later. As they ended, the wind off of the lake blew the smoke back over the temple and through the spotlights giving an eerie, magical sense to the surrounding area.



I set up in front of the fountain. People were swarming the temple after the fireworks. And they kept apologizing for walking through my shot. I just thanked them.



I left the camera on three shot exposure brackets on Aperture Priority. This gave me one relatively sharp shot, one kinda blurred (two above), and one more blurred than that (above). Of everyone that walked up those stairs, these girls were my favorite.
Slow: The Magic of Long Exposure PhotographyI added a review of the latest eBook from Craft and Vision to the book review section. You can read it here.The March of the ???To go along with the book, here is a 30 second exposure from a couple of years ago at the Baha'i Temple. Can you guess what's happening in the picture?

I was hoping to get some car trails in front of the Baha’i Temple. But all that passed by were those silly glow stick kids walking back to their cars. This was a 30 second long exposure where three or four kids walked by with different kinds of glow sticks.

But I got one car trail shot before I headed back to my bed.

Written by

When I’m not staying up all night figuring out the details of our next Out of Chicago Conference, you’ll find me at the park with our son and daughter, playing my guitar, out on the golf course, or following my favorite (Detroit) sports teams. I love Chicago, but I’ll always root for my Tigers, Red Wings, Lions, Michigan sports, and Pistons.

Latest comments
  • very cool… 🙂

  • Can we get permission to use Bahai Temple photo showing fountain in front, with your photo credit & website? Precast Solutions Magazine, Spring 2013 issue, NPCA (National Precast Concrete Association) Please advise. Thank you. Engineering Editor


Subscribe to our Newsletter!