It's always a blast shooting the Greencastle Music Fest in Greencastle, Indiana. I've been hired by organizers three out of the past four years, including this past weekend. I feel more comfortable photographing the event each time, as I'm familiar with the setup, expectations, and more importantly, the lighting I'll be working with, which includes bright evening sun, dusk and the after-dark concert on the town square.
The set of photos above were shot using my Canon T3i with external flash on top of the camera in TTL mode. As festival photographer, I had access to the stage area, both behind and beside, which I used as much as possible.
One of the requirements was that I get a shot of the fireworks set off at the end of the show during the final song of the band's set. Unlike most fireworks displays where you have several minutes to dial in the focus, exposure, and composition of the fireworks, I knew this display was only going to have a handful of blasts from behind the stage, I would have to be at the ready and with five-second exposures, shot as many as possible, while checking each on for any quick adjustments that may be needed before shooting the next frame.
There is also the possibility of keeping the shutter open a second or two too long and blowing out the whites of the explosions, which did happen to a couple frames. After the quick burst of fireworks stopped, I counted the frames I was able to get in and it turned out to be just six - four of which were usable, with one (posted above) that featured not only a bright red blast, but some nice red smoke at the base of the stage. I was very lucky with the timing on that!