June 30 2012
Being that I’m just 1 day from making it half way through the 365 project (rather 366 with it being a leap year), it seemed appropriate to head down to the opening night of this years International Firework competition – officially called L’International des Feux Loto-Québec.
The Pyrotechnic competition has been running since 1985 and is the largest competition of its kind in the world. Each year top pyrotechnic firms from countries around the world descend on Montreal to compete against each other in putting on the best choreographed 30 minute display. This year (the 28th edition) will see teams from Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Greece, France, Portugal, Italy and the United States competing.
The final night of the event on August 3rd will be a tribute to the band Queen by Italian pyro company Pierpaolo Serafino.
Each display features an average of 6,000 pyrotechnics and draws massive crowds not only to the main (ticket only) site at La Ronde but to the surrounding area. A popular free viewing spot is the Jacques Cartier bridge which is closed to traffic for the event. The area around the clock tower in the old port is another popular spot. The music for the show is broadcast live on 105.7fm, so the only disadvantage to not paying to view the display is the limited view of low altitude fireworks.
I plan trying a couple of different viewing spots during this years event, but tonight selected to go to the old port. The area around the clock tower was packed but I was able to find a nice spot on the balcony of an empty building on the rue Port de Montreal.
This evenings show was from Japanese pyro firm Aoki Fireworks with the theme Discover Hanabi – A thousand-year old pyrotechnic art tradition reinvented. They set the bar high for the other teams.
It’s been a long time since I attempted photographing fireworks and wasn’t over happy with tonight’s results. A main issue seemed to be the focus wasn’t spot on despite checking prior to the show starting and after the first few exposures. With a reasonably high f stop and focus set to infinity I was expecting crisper results.
I’m going to do some research on tips for shooting fireworks before I go to the next show and will post my findings. If you have any specific tips, feel free to share them in the comments below.
On the way home I swung through the Jazz Fest site and caught the sets of Steve Hill on the Loto-Québec stage and Ian Kelly on the TD stage. Montreal rocks during the summer with so many choices for entertainment – and photo subjects
To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.