Bonfire Night…

Went to my usual bonfire and fireworks in Dulwich.  For the first time in 17 years I didn’t see anyone I knew – must be time to stop going.  Anyway, took some pictures, but had no tripod.  Thought I would do them anyway.

When did Hallowe’en overtake Bonfire Night in popularity in the UK?  I think it’s been happening gradually since the mid 1990’s.  I remember when my eldest child was young, around that time, I found it difficult to find anything more than a mask for him to wear.  Now it seems to be a huge commercial venture which I don’t like much.  I’d never even heard of ‘trick or treat’ until I came to London as an adult.

So I’m all for preserving Bonfire Night as the dominant feast at this time of the year.  When I was little we used to buy fireworks ourselves in the shops with our spending money.  I’m not hearkening back to the good old days though, I remember many children used to be injured or killed each year.  But I miss the community spirit of Bonfire Night – collecting wood for the fire in your area, making the Guy, eating the tooth rotting bonfire toffee.

I took all these pictures using a handheld camera, so they’re blurry to say the least, but I quite like some of the effects.  They were all taken on 100 ISO, fireworks are very bright.  I used a small aperture to get a full depth of field – f11, and the shutter speed was 3 seconds with me holding my breath to keep as still as possible.  The husband and kids would have hated me setting up a tripod, so embarrassing!



2 thoughts on “Bonfire Night…

  1. I love these photos – the feathery, flowering effect is far more enchanting, to me, than the fireworks themselves, which are brasher and harsher.
    I do so agree about Bonfire Night – or even Guy Fawkes night? – although the anti-Catholicism sentiments expressed at the huge event in Lewes every year was unsettling. Did you see Paul Anderson’s status update on Facebook about his dismissal of ‘trick-or-treaters’ as American cultural imperialists? Very funny
    Of course, the whole Guy Fawkes imagery has had a renaissance with the conjuncture of the V for Vendetta graphic novel and film and the Occupy movement. Very interesting…

    1. Hi Diana, we haven’t chatted for a while. Glad you like the photos, thanks. It’s funny how my family, being very strict Catholics, never minded about Bonfire night. I’m not in touch with Paul on FB, so I haven’t seen his status. Hope you’re all well? Mx

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