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Clearlake Fourth

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 6 July 2009 in Lifestyle & Culture and Portfolio.

Best seat in the house for the celebration of our great nation's birthday...

Along the shoreline of Clear Lake - In the town of Clearlake, California

Happy Two Thirty-Three America !

Larger view and map:

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Beautiful shot and colors

6 Jul 2009 5:43am

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

wow -- gorgeous work Stephen!!! such lovely light and soft but bright color!! hope your long weekend was great!

6 Jul 2009 5:47am

@dj.tigersprout: I'm working 100% for myself now - so there was no long weekend - but I thoroughly enjoyed the fourth, thank you. What is life in the big city like for you these days? And where will you be taking us next?

Mirko Herzner from Germany

What a beautiful place... I like how you did not present fireworks only but fireworks with a view...

6 Jul 2009 6:40am

@Mirko Herzner: I can't believe it took me this long to figure out what a perfect place this would be for enjoying the Fourth. I knew how lovely the topography is - I knew three places (2 towns and 1 resort) that had fireworks - I knew there isn't a whole lot of people there - and I knew the weather would be excellent as the lake is heavily protected and well inland. And I know folks who live here.

Result - I am already planning next years shoot!

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

oh just noticed the location -- my two step brothers have lived there all their lives!!! :)

6 Jul 2009 8:02am

@dj.tigersprout: What part of Lake County are they in? I have several friends around the lake.

Elionore Olsson from Sweden


6 Jul 2009 8:59am

yz from Budapest, Hungary

wow, beautifully captured

6 Jul 2009 9:53am

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

Wow, I could only dream of taking a photo like this. It's as good as being there in person; fabulous clarity and colors Stephen.

And thanks for the invite to call you while we're in SF. I've written your number down and will do my best to give you a call at some point. We're doing the major tourist thing, so we'll be doing bus tours and bay tours and Yosemite tours, then heading out to Muir, Pt. Reyes, and Bodega Bay, then wine country, south to Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur. Counting tonight, our first four nights will be spent in SF - then we break loose. Heh.

6 Jul 2009 11:19am

Marcie from Newton, United States

WOW! Absolutely stunning!!!

6 Jul 2009 11:24am

Bethany from Michigan, United States

Very pretty! The open water provides a nice clear eye for the fireworks- no distractions in the way.

6 Jul 2009 12:14pm

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Wow, this one's a stunner !!!! And naturally, the year I finally figure out how to shoot the fireworks, you've now burst my bubble, since now I have to find a place for fireworks next year, "with a view"....... I had a brainstorm this morning tho, while thinking of "where can I go to see fireworks again, before next july?"...... Once the weather cools off some here (around mid-october).... i see a trip up to Disney, for shots over
Cinderella's castle is in my future.......

6 Jul 2009 2:55pm

@Susan: Easy, Susan, there is no way you should see your bubble burst - you should be proud of the fireworks images you've captured and the wharf adds some good interest.

Some things to consider:

I turn sixty this year and it took me all of this time to even figure out to shoot at this location - 2 hours from home. I could have shot from the town of Lakeport (they also stage a good display) on the opposite side of the lake with the same mountain in the background from the other direction. This would have had me facing east and I would have lost the twilight behind the show - so all would have been dark and I'd have lost all of the 'scenery'.

The one thing I don't like about the location I had this year - are the bright lights at right. This was one of those 'traveling' amusement parks set-up at the far end of the beach. The lights washed out the detail of the beach. You could get the same problem with 'Cinderella's Castle' if you get too close to it - or any other light source at Disney World. Plus, it would be so crowded there on The Fourth of July.

I liked my idea of using the tree at left to frame the fireworks - but I did not count on the light breeze blowing them gently around during the long exposures. They're distracting. If I used a tree - I would have my camera further away from it.

There is much that needs to be thought out and I'd give good consideration to trying your same location again. I would ask if there is some place you could have a western view behind the fireworks. Another possibility is someplace that shoots fireworks along one of Florida's many lakes.

Just some thoughts - I'm looking forward to seeing more of what you got!

Bill Brown from California, United States


6 Jul 2009 2:57pm

MARIANA from waterloo, Canada

Gorgeous image !

6 Jul 2009 3:07pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Just gorgeous!

6 Jul 2009 3:26pm

Vink from Grasse, France

Very nice !

6 Jul 2009 3:38pm

alicejin from San Jose, United States

Impressive! :) My cousins used to live in Clear Lake - great place to go bass fishing! How long did you leave the shutter open, if you don't mind me asking?

6 Jul 2009 5:45pm

@alicejin: thanks, alicejin - and I should have included the EXIF data:

Canon 5D w/ Canon L 16-35mm f/2.8 lens: ISO 50; at 16mm, f/4.5 for 30.0 seconds

Liang from San Francisco, United States

beautiful shot of the fireworks stephen! captured it perfect!

6 Jul 2009 6:47pm

Tammy-Cricket from somewhere out there, United States

This is a beautiful take on the fireworks. I enjoyed reading your settings above. Very nice.

6 Jul 2009 8:27pm

grant from kansas city, United States

well done!

6 Jul 2009 8:32pm

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Yes, beautiful, great!

6 Jul 2009 8:35pm

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Fireworks at Disney is definitely NOT for 4th of July.... I will probably go up there in the fall, once it cools off.... I'm pretty certain they do fireworks every night..... And as far as going to my same location again, but from the other side..... Not possible, as these fireworks are shot off over the ocean......I'll have to check and see if there's anywhere before next July 4th where I can get a different view!!

6 Jul 2009 8:58pm

jeff (aka dogilicious) from Millerstown, PA, United States

Excellent capture. I'll reflect Susan's comments. No more simple fireworks! Lol!

7 Jul 2009 1:33am

peter from new york, United States

WOW! an absolutely stunning fireworks shot. bravo!

7 Jul 2009 2:11am

@peter: Thanks, Peter - and I hope you had a good holiday.

djedfre from schaumburg, United States

beautiful - i always try to shoot the works over water whenever i can!

7 Jul 2009 7:30am

Anthony Morgan Lambert from Bielefeld(old Pembroke dock boy,Wales), Germany

I think the day should be used thinking of all the men and young lads that died fighting on both sides of the War of independence.Common soldiers either fighting for what they believed in or fighting for their friends and comrades in arms.
Let us not forget the sacrifice on both sids !! (In all wars)

7 Jul 2009 9:07am

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Outstanding! Like always, I admire your night photography!

8 Jul 2009 12:51am

Hjulbentamannen from Eskilstuna, Sweden

very nice

26 Jul 2009 9:28am