I arrived at Caddington School way too early as I thought the Display would likely start at 7 or 7.30, so having set up the tripod, I had a long wait before the fireworks started. Where I parked happened to be over a blocked drain which was not visible when I pulled up, but was very obvious when I emerged from the car as it was probably at least six inches deep, so before I had been but a few moments my shoes and socks were soaked through, and my feet were to remain that way for the duration as I donned my wellingtons!
The rain had abated, but the grass of the playing fields was muddy underfoot, but this did not dampen the spirits of those who came along, children of every age seemed not even to mind if they fell over in the sodden grass as they played with their multi-coloured light sabres in mock fights, or simply waved them around to delight in the strobing effect.
Cadets seemed to have been detailed to curtail gatecrashers and minor misbehaviour in the gloom. The air was alive with the incessant chatter of children enjoying themselves and the numbers steadily increased as the time moved closer to the start of the show. The temperature slowly dropped as the wind rose, and I begun to regret not having worn a sweater below my anorak. I had not anticipated that I would have to constantly wipe the lens of condensation between each shot, which meant losing a lot of shooting time as I selected exposure times from eight seconds to twenty to try to get the precise effect I was seeking. I also moved to three different locations to add variety to the end result.
I was using ISO 400 when I started, but eventually settled on 800, and I used apertures of f/8 to f/11 and exposure times from five seconds to twenty seconds, and the lens I used on the EOS 5D MkII was the Sigma 12-24mm and I also varied the focal length over the time.
At the end as I was packing up the camera I met with the School's head, Sue Teague, who shared an interest in photography, but I saw none of the staff of Town & Country, but there again I must have been all but invisible during the time I was shooting. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.