We were in Traverse City, Michigan, during last year’s Fourth of July celebrations. Fireworks over the Grand Traverse Bay have some added drama, but the area is so far north (and west in its time zone) that the sky still hadn’t fully darkened.
After the main show has finished, private citizens produce their own displays up and down the beach.
The lines and lights of the dock, boat, and horizon collide in this image of a catamaran in Traverse City.
After the big Traverse City fireworks show over Lake Michigan, Americans on the shores continue to set off their own fireworks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is pretty much the equivalent of kids in the movie theater parking lot hitting each other with plastic lightsabers after a Star Wars movie lets out.
Reflections from the surface of Lake Michigan place fireworks on the same scale with the 80-year-old tug boat William C. Selvick. I particularly like the way the small buoy/float in the foreground is placed within the fireworks’ reflection.
Part of me wants to imagine that watching fireworks from the stern of a WWII-era tug would be a perfect summer experience… But another part wonders about the chipping paint and rust, hard corners and suspects that there might be some subtleties to perfecting the viewing location.
To borrow an Internet cliché, “Name a more iconic summer combination.”
More than any of the other Traverse City fireworks shots I’ve presented so far, I think this one captures the essence of summer: little Lake Michigan waves lapping at the shore, soft beaches, boats moored to piers, and the pair of people relaxing on the rocks in the foreground. They’re the most intriguing part of the image, to me: when everyone else is looking to the sky, what is interesting them more than the fireworks?
While a telephoto view of fireworks and people can place the pair on even scale, the opposite—a wide-angle view that places the aforementioned pair in context—makes apparent just how small they are on the scale of the Earth.
Fireworks above the Grand Traverse Bay, as viewed from the piers. The true scale of fireworks becomes apparent when a long lens positions the explosions and the people closer together.
The school year has started and now summer travels are memories. The fuzzy, insubstantial people of this long-exposure photograph kind of match the feeling of fading reminiscences.
When the previous sponsor ended their support for Independence Day fireworks in Traverse City, Michigan, a group of locals formed the “TC Boom Boom Club” to keep the tradition going. That name is really something, but silliness aside, there are some northern Michigan challenges kind-hearted locals can’t fix—like the remaining sunlight in the sky, even after 10:00 PM.
Spending Independence Day in Traverse City, Michigan meant experiencing the TC Boom Boom Club’s (yes, really) annual fireworks display from the beach of the Grand Traverse Bay. Before they began, however, the families on the beach were making their own shows.
An early-evening flight into Chicago puts the setting sun behind the skyline along Lake Michigan, reflecting silhouettes from the placid surface.