However, last night I pulled out my old camera body, grabbed a memory card and shutter release, and we tumbled into the car to search for nearby fireworks displays.
First, we drove up to a hill in the Snail Lake Regional Park to see if any shows were visible along the skyline. A few trees marred our vision, but it was a decent location for a panorama of displays. Explosions boomed in stereo. Most were within twenty miles, and since my current longest telephoto is 50mm, the light-to-sky ratio is not impressive without cropping. At least DSLR sensors can handle that.
This is typical scale of the larger ones we saw from the car (though most were quite a bit smaller):
Due to mosquito overload, every image was shot through the windshield. Thanks to gorillapod for its stellar ability of wrapping around a steering wheel. I figured the lens would focus past the dirty windshield, which proved true.
I was curious to try shooting fireworks while moving the lens in and out of focus. During a long exposure that might create an interesting burst effect. I had a few successes. Here are my favorites (highly cropped, as we had turned the car toward what we guessed was the St. Paul display):
Whereas I like these results: