The Fireworks of Velvia 50

Going through some old photos, I came across these shots of the Odaiba winter fireworks, taken with my Fujifilm GW690III. I thought it would probably be a good time to post fireworks, as we’re in the middle of fireworks season here in Japan.

These photos actually jumped jumped out at me because I at first thought I’d cranked up the saturation, and overproduced a digital shot. I think we’ve all done that. You go to edit a shot, and then you come back to it later, and wonder why you dialed everything up to 11. But that’s the magic of the old Velvia 50… it dialed everything up to 11 for you. The idea of color being so oversaturated and changeable because digital, that it wasn’t like that back in the film days… yeah, no. Velvia 50 was definitely designed to give you all the colors.

These fireworks happen every Saturday at 7pm in December, and are best photographed from the observation bridge near the Statue of Liberty replica, or from one of the hotels with the fancy views along that Odaiba shore. If you’re looking for a good spot on the observation bridge, get there early. Photographers start setting up hours ahead of time. The usual fireworks advice – long exposures on tripods with shutter releases – apply, so set up your tripod and have a picnic while waiting.

The huge upside of the 690 is that it shoots slides as big as baseball cards, but it has it’s weaknesses too. The downside that I really felt here is that the fixed lens meant that I was really limited with what I could do for framing the fireworks display. A wider lens would have been better, but I was also shooting digital that day, so I had that angle covered there.