NEBRASKAland July 2018

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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58 NEBRASKAland • JULY 2018 A t some point, I lost my enthusiasm for fireworks. Admittedly, for a period of childhood, I was something of an addict. After raiding the parents' coin jar, I would join a friend to be first in line when the Danbury fireworks stand opened each day leading up to the Fourth of July. Tanks, Black Cats, Roman candles, grenades, parachutes. The options blew my mind – just as the firecrackers sometimes numbed my fingers. I suppose the disappearance of the coin jar and the whole "using my own money to buy them" thing had something to do with my waning enthusiasm. As a photographer, however, the opportunity to capture images of bursting spectacles of light in the sky is hard to resist on this holiday. While my kids have lobbied to shoot off fireworks of their own, coincidentally purchased with their parents' money, the bigger displays have attracted the camera and me. Last Fourth, after photographing others' pricy fireworks over our hometown of Chadron with the landmark C-Hill as a backdrop, I returned to our front yard to find my 10-year-old daughter working through an assortment I grudgingly purchased earlier that day – yes, a real bargain that even had some snakes and sparklers. Having burned through the few larger pieces in the box while surely wishing her dad were not such a cheapskate, she resorted to that box of sparklers. My mind again turned to photography, and those sparklers brought fun back to the scene. The camera captured pretty photos of the "big fireworks" over our picturesque city that night, but this patriotic long exposure created in our front yard with a cheap sparkler, the "penmanship" of my daughter and directing from my wife is the favorite image of the bunch. Money well spent. Enthusiasm restored … at least briefly. Justin Haag, May 25, 2018 long exposure created in our front Sparkling Enthusiasm

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