Fireworks, or Bombshells. You Choose.

Well, it’s Fourth of July weekend here in America and that means people are blowing up their hard earned money with fireworks. I like fireworks, well the professional ones that is. Don’t get me wrong if you want to blow shit up in your backyard to show the world how patriotic you are that’s fine. I’m not going to stop you. I just prefer to spend my money on things that aren’t going to go up in smoke, or run the risk of causing me pain and possible dismemberment. So you can celebrate the nation’s birthday with fireworks, or you can feast your eyes on pin-up girls sporting the red white and blue and in some cases holding fireworks. Frankly, I think I prefer looking at leggy gals sporting an outfit made from old glory and holding explosives. So here we have movie stars, models, and illustrations of just that. By the way, 1960’s bombshell Raquel Welch, and 1940’s Broadway star Anne Miller seem to have been very popular icons for the 4th.


Nina Roman

Nina Roman

4th06 4thjulyAnnMiller













Dorothy Arnold












Photographic Bang Bang.


With the Fourth of July just 2 days away, what could be more fitting than something about fireworks. The video below shows artist Ross Sonnenberg creating some insanely great abstract photographs using one of his favorite secret ingredients. Fireworks. Sonnenburg uses a host of other tools to create the images, including  gel, sand and light, but the fireworks give it a special twist. The results are beautiful, intensely colored one of a kind photograms. Each image is a random chance experiment full of texture, color, line, and shapes all created without a camera.

“For my latest body of work entitled “The Big Bang”, I had become fascinated with the photogram. In my research artists such as Mariah Robertson, Susan Derges and especially Marco Breuer are doing work that I admire. I became intrigued by the possibilities of this photographic process. I thought to myself “What can I bring that maybe could be interesting to me?”

     My light source of choice would be fireworks of varying persuasions, combined with other materials. Interestingly, the images (Which were few and far between) were looking like fictional galaxies, with all their beautiful imperfections resembled our images of our real solar system, ironically created by the first Big Bang millions of years ago.”

From Sonnenberg’s website

Sonnenberg varies the scale of the images. He has two previous series that smaller scale works Color Bang. And Long Bang which is a series of larger scale works created with larger more powerful fireworks.





Happy Fourth of July

Postcards from the early 20th century have always fascinated me. There is something about the stylistic quality of the illustration and design, but more over it’s usually the language or the message that is represented. The postcard below is from about 1910 I’m thinking. There was no date on it so it’s hard to tell, but the look Seems to say 1900 to maybe 1914. It is a cautionary message about the perils of the 4th that have been with us since the Chinese invented fireworks. It’s also an advertisement pitching “take a photo of your kid before he kills himself celebrating the birth of our nation”.

So here we are about 100 years later. Mom’s and Dad’s in places where fireworks are legal… bust out your camera and take a photo of your kid this morning before it’s too late. Happy Fourth of July!


How About Bourbon Cherry Seltzer’s for the 4th?

Nothing says patriotism like blowing things up while you consume alcoholic beverages. While beer is probably the number one choice of booze to drink on the Fourth of July, some of us might prefer something a bit different. Perhaps a Bourbon Cherry Seltzer. The recipe sounds more difficult than it is, and the results are definitely worth your time to make it.


Fireworks in Danang.

Every Memorial Day weekend, Kansas City kicks off the unofficial start of summer with a massive fireworks display at Liberty Memorial. This year is no different. The show starts around 9:45, weather permitting. I never take photos, or shoot video of the show. Fireworks can be one of the toughest things to shoot, and I don’t have the patience for it. For the people that do, the results can be pretty outstanding. Rob Whitworth is a photographer that knows how to shoot fireworks. The video below is from the 2013 international Fireworks competition in Danang. Whitworth blends still images, time-lapse, tilt-shift, and zoom techniques to showcase the event in a 2 minute short video.I hope the event tonight in Kansas City, looks this good. Hmmmm, maybe I should bring my camera to the event after all.

Danang International Fireworks Competition 2013 from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.

Happy Fourth of July. “Sports Afield” 1942

Here it is July 4th, and America is once again celebrating its birthday by blowing shit up and cooking out. As the heat crawls toward 102 degrees, my neighbors have already begun their drunken buffoonery combined with explosives and a lack of common sense. Perhaps today the Darwin award will be handed out on my street but I somehow doubt it.

Because it is the Fourth of July, I thought I’d post a semi patriotic image. Below is the July 1942 cover of “Sports Afield”, illustrated by Walter Haskell Hinton. This is one of a series of patriotic covers he illustrated furring the 1940’s. In this image he has juxtaposed a hunter with an 18th century War of Independence American soldier in buckskin. In the background Hinton has included the “V” for victory symbol enhancing the overall patriotic theme. The combination of the hunter and soldier suggests that the hunters’ marksmanship was as important skill for national defense in 1942 as it was in 1776, and that the right to bear arms continued to be an essential part of American patriotism.