Liberty for all
To save money, the community of Park Ridge, Ill. hosted its annual Fourth of July fireworks display at Maine East High School a couple days early. By having it Friday, July 2, the town avoided having to pay police officers and firefighters overtime pay for working a holiday. It didn’t seem to matter much to residents who showed up early and by the thousands.
I got there a couple hours early too and shot photos of people staking out their spots on the football field and surrounding areas. Then I waited. And waited. I was told the first firework would go off somewhere between 8:30-9 p.m. I had a 10 p.m. deadline with the Chicago Sun-Times so when the show didn’t start until 9:45 p.m. I knew I was up against some pretty rough odds.
I shot for 15 minutes as fireworks went off overhead, then ran to my truck to edit and transmit my images. The news desk had my photos by 10:20 p.m. Two are on the front page of the paper this morning above the headline “Friday night lights”.
For most people, fireworks displays are a fun and relaxing way to spend an evening. For photographers, it’s not quite as enjoyable.