Why I'm not shooting fireworks this July 4th.

Every year since 2008 when I got my first DSLR, I brought my camera and tripod to every 4th of July and in some cases two firework displays in two different towns. Now it was okay at first to learn how to shoot fireworks and I got some incredible pictures. After a while it just became redundant because my town has literally the same firework display every year. Last year they change the location of them which made it even more difficult to get a good shot. 

I don't live in city with big buildings that add interest, so I don't have much options to make them more interesting. I did however, tried capturing the crowd and that one came out okay, probably one of my favorite firework shots.

Last year, I was literally the only guy standing in the field with a tripod and camera. I'm not doing that this year. Instead I'm just going to watch and enjoy the display of awesome pyrotechnics with my family and beat the traffic! 

I'm not saying YOU should stop shooting fireworks, but if it is getting redundant, why not take a year off and not watch them through the LCD screen? Enjoy it! 

Everyone loves the grand finale! I recorded it one time and it came out great, you could try that instead of taking pictures. Just let your camera record the event and enjoy it. 

Someday I would like to venture out of my small town and photograph other firework displays in other towns, long as they don't fall on the same day as my home town..which I am in luck because my town does the 4th of July festivities about a week before the others...its usually a really big event with ton of people visiting from all over, after all it is the first one in Vermont! 

So my recommendation is, if shooting fireworks is feeling redundant, then try to add some interest like say, include a portrait with fireworks in the background or if you live in the city, try to find different locations that might add some interest. If all else fails, leave your camera at home and enjoy the display and make memories.

You can't photograph everything, sometimes you have to enjoy life.

Kingstown Home Eastfield Writing Desk Review

For the past few years I've been using cheap IKEA desk that were hollow and warped. I didn't want to go back to a cheap hollow table tops, so I decided to look for a solid wood desk. 

After searching and searching for an affordable, but rustic/industrial design desk that had a solid wood top and this Kingstown Home Eastfield Writing Desk and took a couple weeks deciding if its what I wanted..but I ended up ordering one and was worried like crazy all week that it was going to be damaged.  

Well I got it a couple weeks later by UPS and only damage to the desk was a little bit of scratches to one of the corners..no problem though..because its solid wood! I didn't mind it. For me, it just added to the look of the desk. It also could be easily fixed. 

You have to remember, this desk is VERY heavy. So you just have to accept that fact that it could arrive damaged. But this isn't like a cheap hollow desk..its solid wood!! 

I managed to assemble this all by myself and assembly was very easy..took about a half hour. everything is put together with bolts, washers and lock washers. Which I really like because it can easily be disassembled if you were moving. 

They even included some foam rubber pads for the feet as well, so that was nice of them! 

After using the desk for about a month now, I couldn't be happier!  Really love the rustic reclaimed look of the desktop, I have lots of room to work. I use it as a compute desk and you could easily fit two 27" monitors or three 24" monitors if you wanted to. I'm just using a single 24" display with bookshelf speakers.

I added a Lite Source Kris desk lamp and with the warm light from the lamp reflecting on this warm color wood desk really feels cozy. 

The wood is poplar, so its not a hardwood and it does dent very easy. I dropped something already and left a good size dent, but I put some water on it and used a clothes iron to raise the dent and you can't even tell it was there. So just be cognitive of that. 

I love the shelving as well..TON of room for storage. You can buy some fabric or wicker bins to use if you wanted it to look clean. 

The description only says what the height is of the shelf, so I want to give you a more detailed dimensions. 

The height for all 4 shelves are 11" and the width is 12.25" 

The width of of the area where you legs are is 28.75" so plenty of room! Though my chair is a bit of a tight fit. 

Overall, I am very happy and see using this desk for years to come!

Champlain Valley Fair 2014 Pictures

I'm not one for going on rides so I always bring my camera because you'll just never know what you'll see. Fairgrounds are not the most easiest of subjects to shoot because all of the ever changing artificial lighting really screws up your exposure and throws off your camera's meter. Its best to shoot in manual and adjust accordingly.  

This year I brought my D610 and 50 1.8G because at the time I just bought the D610 and really wanted to test out the high ISO and wow, I am impressed of the noise performance.  Well this isn't a review or a how-to so here are the best shots I've taken at the fair this year. 

Last few years I've always brought either a 35mm or 50mm prime, so I think next year I might bring a wide angle or maybe even a video! I hope you enjoyed these photos and you can always find more of my pictures on my Flickr page

Abandoned: Woodbury Country Store

I've been really getting into photographing abandoned & forgotten man made structures and learning about the history.   I came across this abandoned country store in Woodbury, Vermont which was a booming market back in the day and had the last gas station in town then.  Sadly the store closed (don't know when, I'd say in the early 90s) and later in 2011, hurricane Irene flooded the area and caused some further damage to the already run down building.  Some would like to see the store renovated into a proper market.  There isn't much information on this country store online and the town is pretty quiet.  

I hope you enjoyed looking at these photos.  If you have any questions or know of any information on why the store closed, please let me know by using the contact form or sending me a tweet on Twitter @nerwin.  Also, don't forget to check out some more of my pictures on Flickr

The Remains of the Milton Speedway

I'll be honest, there isn't much information on this ghost track, but I'll tell you what I do know.  This was a dedicated dragstrip located in Milton, Vermont and operated from the 1960s to early 1980s. This was and has been the only known dragstrip in the entire state of Vermont and had seen many many cars.  The track is a half mile long and was sanctioned by NASCAR.  The Milton Speedway was no doubt a hit back then with the famous NHRA Shirley Muldowney raced her first husband Jack with a super stock car a few times, but can't confirm if she has ever raced her dragster or not. 

The track has a lot of history and I had the opportunity to walk down the old track or at least what is left of it and captured some pictures of the old but not forgotten, Milton Speedway. 

Lets start out with some pictures of what the track originally looked like. 

The Milton Speedway, photo probably wasn't taken long before the track closed. 

The strip from an aerial shot.  By the looks of it, photo probably wasn't taken very long before the track closed. 


A picture probably taken in late 1960s of a drag car launching for a run down the 1/2 mile track. 

Two drag cars competing at the Milton Speedway sometime in the late 1960s

What remains today

You can easily make out the old track cutting through the vegetation where nature is reclaiming. 

I tried to match up the old black & white aerial photograph to give you an idea of how much has changed over the years.  Its still amazing how much still actually remains. 

Check out some of the pictures I took today (8/16/2014) of the old Milton Speedway.  I was even able to find some original paint markings on the track that were probably preserved from trees protecting it from the rain. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about the old Milton Speedway dragstrip, if you have any questions or comments, please contact me through the contact page or tweet to me on Twitter @nerwin.