’twas Riverfire in Brisbane last night, the annual fireworks spectacular which since it’s inception in 1998 has featured the F-111’s doing a dump’n’burn flyby.
Due to these aircraft being decommissioned at the end of this year, this was the last Riverfire they are partaking in (apparently).
Therefore, I made the trek into the city again this year, but just for an added challenge, held a workshop on how to shoot fireworks at the same time.
My business partner, Kane, and I arrived at 4am to ensure we could grab the best possible location. Rumours of safety fencing proved to be correct for the best location, so we went to plan B. There was an unfenced section so we setup our chairs and tripods and began the looooong wait (show starts at 7pm).
By 7:30am, contractors had arrived and demanded we move from our prime position as they were installing more safety fencing where we were. Why is this an issue – well in order to not get the regular fence in your shot, you need to have the tripod right up next to it. The safety fencing was placed over 1m from the regular fence, meaning that at wide-angles it was impossible to not get the regular fence in your frame.
To say we were unimpressed was an understatement. After much calling around trying to get hold of the organisers, we capitulated and moved back far enough for the fence to be installed.
The plan was then to place the tripods between the two fences and just use remotes to trigger the cameras. All well and good until around midday the Hired Goons Security turned up and made everyone remove the tripods from between the fences and place them back on the outside of the safety fence. Things clearly weren’t going our way.
Still, eventually the students showed up and we ran through the course material, fed them pizza, and as it was getting close to the show time, re-installed the tripods between the fences.
Alas, more Goons Security turned up (different ones, but equally fascist), and demanded the tripods once again be moved back behind the safety fence.
So it was up to full extension on the ‘pods with the view of minimising the damage. Everyone still had parts of the regular fence in the frame but small enough due to careful composition that it was salvageable.
Finally the show began with not a hint of what was going on (no countdown to the flyby, etc). We all rushed to set off the cameras and then began the (slightly less than 30 min) show with 4 chances at shooting the F-111s.
I caught all four partial or full flybys and have made the following composite image.
Wilson's Outlook, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
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