Happy 239th America


239th Birthday America by Chip Bunnell PhotographyThis year’s fireworks celebration took us to our local S FL beach. We navigated the crowd and staked out our beach front position, as close to the launch point as allowed, literally up against the waist high fence. The skies darkened and finally the 10-minute warning was given. I set up my tripod as my wife sat comfortably next to me in the sand. Over and over, simple streaks of rocket propelled light climbed high in the dark sky, paused for a weightless second and then exploded with a colorful brilliance. The crowd gasped and cheered as if on cue.  Looking up the beach, we could see  miniature versions of other displays that filled the frame.  Even though we could not hear them, I still felt a connection knowing we were all celebrating the birth of our great nation together!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite celebrations of the year and this year was no exception! It is the time when our entire nation puts aside their individual differences and commemorates how a handful of patriots courageously rallied a nation into freedom. For their vision, determination and sacrifice, we will be eternally grateful.

Through my travels I have seen first hand how America is a quite unique country. Our founding principles were first discussed and refined quietly in individual homes. As the ideas of our new nation gained traction, brave individuals met in larger groups and even stood on street corners proclaiming their vision. Despite resistance, they continued with their beliefs until there was an unstoppable thirst to be free that rippled across the land. Despite individual disagreements, it was a time when patriotism and national pride won out in the discussion. This freedom was neither easy nor cheap. Many lost their homes, their families, their lands and even their lives. With each loss, their determination to become a united, new nation grew stronger. The vision of a giant melting pot, open to all who wished more to be American and her future rather than the lands and ideas of their past, was born.

We just marked the 239th birthday of our great nation. As with all celebrations, we look back on the fun, family and friends. Memories of tasty burgers on the grill and the incredible fireworks high overhead are the talk around the office today. As those joyous memories pass, let us keep in our forefront the freedoms of this land and the sacrifices brave patriots made, not just for themselves, but for us, their future. Let us remember that we are far stronger united, than when we are divided. Let us remember how we are to be “one nation, under God.” Let us remember, appreciate and respect what it means to be American!

Photo Stuff: Single frame, processed in LR and Topaz Clarity

Chip Bunnell Photography
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EVENT :: Fireworks, Reflections and Family


Chip Bunnell Photography Boynton Beach Palm Beach Florida

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July 2012 presented the opportunity to join the family in Door County, WI to celebrate our nation’s birth.  As one of the top summer destinations for those in Wisconsin and Illinois, we knew there would be fireworks and festivities.  What we found was a true slice of “Americana” and wonderful mid-west hospitality.

The day started with an old fashion parade down the main street of Bailey’s Harbor, WI.  This town of 1,003 attracted quite the turn out from locals and tourists alike.  It was everything you would expect from an area filled with white picket fences, quaint motels and rustic homes nestled in the lush green foliage that borders Lake Michigan.  Tractors pulled large hay wagons with homemade floats on top. Pickup truck beds carried the local Boy Scouts as they waived and threw candy to the crowd.  Convertibles carried the mayor, queen of the parade and other local dignitaries proudly perched as they waived to the excited on-lookers.  It seemed like we had stepped back to a past era, many decades away from the Art Deco, beach crowd of our South Florida home.

That night the weather gods dampened our evening fireworks plans with rain showers abound.  The little township, determined to celebrate our independence, patiently waited for a brief clearing and then lit the fuse. Back at motel, we were able to see the display from across the harbor…and mostly from under an unknown neighbor’s open patio cover. Eventually, those renting that particular room came back to find our huddled, rain-soaked mass. In the typical small-town friendly spirit, they smiled, opened their slider and joined our make-shift party.

I was able to make this image looking over the harbor to the main downtown area.  The rain left a wonderful puddle that I was able to use as a reflection in the foreground.  Our car headlights added an extra element by awakening the outline of shore-line chairs in the left side of the scene.  A long exposure allowed the trail and burst to be colorfully captured.

Enjoy this 4th of July, remember all that our Founding Fathers wanted us to have and find a group of people to share it with…even if you are tucked under a borrowed patio cover of some wonderful new friends.

Single Frame, Processed in LR