July 4th in the good ‘ol US of A is always a special time with family and a time to be especially proud to be an American. However for photographers, it is also another time to practice and attempt to capture something memorable. This year, my wife and I spent a mostly quiet day together while our children were out of state with their grandparents. We decided to make a fireworks picnic-date out of the evening as time alone can be a rare thing when you have 3 kids.
What was important wasn’t the fireworks, it was that we were together this evening, together in this place, looking up into the sky at the same time.
We headed to Mt. Senitas trailhead in Boulder and set out to find a nice calm place to spend the evening. We settled on a side trail that had enough elevation over the city to provide a good composition for the fireworks display. As the evening light faded, we were soon joined by about 3 other groups of friends who also enjoyed the view over the city.
At around 9:43pm we all noticed some strange patterns of lights in the far horizon over the Thornton area. Of course, whenever something strange is in the sky at night, the first instinct out of our mouths is that it’s UFOs. It’s always fun to default our conversations to the least likely, but most mysterious conclusion. The lights slowly descended to the ground and disappeared. My thoughts were that some friends decided to pull a prank this night and fly a bunch of drones with LED lights on them to stir up some UFO talk and hopefully get on the news. Well, they did get on the news, but it wasn’t a bunch of friends trying to pull a prank. It turned out to be a team of Skydivers with fireworks attached to their feet. Story Link
I was taking a time-lapse at the time and did end up capturing these skydivers all the way from Boulder. You can see it around 17 second point in my video below. Look on the left horizon for the light streaks. They are light streaks on my video because I was taking long exposures.