No Pictures, Please

A main feature of the annual celebration of America’s birthday, aside from the Bar-be-ques and cold beverages, are fireworks shows.

Countless counties across the country (yes, I wrote it like that on purpose) host some sort of festival or carnival with at least one night culminating in red glare from rockets. Fireworks don’t excite patriotism in me. I don’t loathe them by any stretch, but I’m not sore if I miss one or two. However, even if I manage to blink my eyes for a moment and don’t see the one that looks like a waterfall, I can rest assured knowing someone has tried to take a picture of the firework.

How this started I can’t say, but what I do know is taking pictures of fireworks is completely stupid.

Now 3.2 megapixel cell phone snap shots fill memory cards and for what? To show someone? To remember what they looked like? To ask a fellow spectator, “Did you see this one?”

Even people with good cameras and the knowledge to use them effectively feel compelled to take photos of fireworks. If you’re going to get artsy with it, like these ones, I’m less inclined to be irritated. But if you’re trying to capture the true essence of a firework, we have become enemies.

Fireworks are more than color and size. They are about sequence and shape, swirling and shimmering in an otherwise blank night sky. (I wrote that one on purpose as well)

Fireworks can be felt. The echo as the capsule leaves the cylinder and whistles upward until it explodes, flashes, and a second later you feel the boom in your chest; that’s easily half of the sensory experience.

So for next year, do America a favor. Keep your camera down and your eyes up.