Here’s to 2011

Nothing quiet on New Year’s Eve. No, not if you are celebrating in Germany – like I have done this year. I am usually no particular patriot. In fact I am quite happy NOT to be living in my country of birth anymore. But when it comes to New Year’s Eve, I must say there is no better way of throwing out the old year and welcoming the new than how the Germans do it.
What you see above is only a tiny glimpse of what goes on in your average German small town between midnight and 1 am on New Year’s Day. Fireworks are a big tradition – and one that makes the year-end celebrations an exciting and beautiful occasion. We watched this year’s big display from the roof of the house. It was a mild night with temperatures around the freezing point. Unfortunately it was not a quite clear sky but there was a bit of mist. As our neighbours were sending off their fireworks, the mist turned into a full blown smog and for a few minutes it was impossible to see anything at all – rocket smoke drifted in a big cloud along our road.

Catching fireworks on film lightsensor is notoriously difficult. Various reasons. “Slowhand Luke” certainly has no chance, catching the bursting fireworks. Between spotting the rockets going up in the sky and the starbursts exploding, there is hardly any time for focussing or manually setting aperture and speed. I kind of went the easy route by setting my ISO on the highest possible speed and then keeping the aperture as small as possible to catch everything in focus. Calmhand Sonja *ggg* however was able to shoot at 1/30 sec and catch a little bit of movement while not completely blurring out everything. And I just continuously shot and shot and shot without ever once lifting my finger off the shutter release – to make sure I did catch anything shiny exploding at all… (I wish I could include a soundfile from the little video clip my son took of the fireworks display – it’s completely marred by my *clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick* across the audio track…)

Anyhow – HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU! I hope to keep this blog going in 2011 and continue to hear from you, too.

Lots of love and all the best,


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