From St. Louis with Love
An arch consists of two weaknesses which, leaning one against the other, make a strength - Leonardo Da Vinci
St. Louis hosts one of the grandest Jul 4th celebrations. With the fair, food carts, live band, fireworks all under the majestic arch – it cannot get any better. To top it off, the show continues for 3 days around Jul 4th.
Shooting fireworks is fun. But including a sense of surrounding and the mood really makes it even more interesting. This shot of the Seattle space needle with fireworks is one of my favorites. So when I learnt about the Arch and fireworks, started digging around with Google earth and TPE for potential spots. After some planning decided on the location – some accessible spot from the other side of the the river, across the railway tracks and as close to the water as possible.
Later learnt that due to the security it would be impossible to get to this location during the Jul 4th weekend. Oh well, may be some other time. As a plan B decided to check out the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the view of the Arch from the observation platform. The views were good, except for the power line. Hopefully it does not become synonymous with the city skyline ! As the show progressed , the direction of the wind was not in favor and the smoke started hindering. Was not very satisfied with the shots from this spot. There was not enough lighting on the Arch itself. May be I was still stuck up on the river side spot. My friend did get a lovely shot from here, so may be, it was just me ;-)
The next day we decided to head right under the arch. Built at 630 feet and with 900 tons of stainless steel – Gateway Arch - is the tallest national monument within the United States. Standing beneath it gives a sense of awe and humility. None of the pictures does justice to its grandeur. One really need to be there to experience its size.
About the shot - The original plan was to check out the reflecting pools and see if the fireworks would compliment the composition. Unfortunately both the pools were filled with algae, not ideal for reflections. After scouting the location settled for this view. Being much closer to the arch, the surrounding lights beautifully reflected on the metallic surface. The colors of blue & red along with symbolic stripes makes this shot iconic for me, especially being shot on ID4 celebrations ! It was cool to get the burst of the heart too. I love it when a plan comes together, even if it was not a primary plan :)
P.S: Check this out for more cool information and history of the Gateway Arch.