A step-by-step process to capturing exactly one almost-semi-decent shot.

1. Get to know your camera, and research fireworks photography.  Read Darcy’s post on the subject at least five times.  Make notes on an index card.  Find the appropriate settings on your camera ahead of time.  Charge camera batteries.  Load compact flash card in camera.  Place camera, index card, and tripod in easy-to-grab location.

2. Go to the fireworks.  Realize that, yes, you’ve prepared really well.  You grabbed the camera.  You have the index card.  You left the tripod at home.  Curse yourself vehemently the entire way to the park.

3. Do the best you can without tripod.  Hold your breath when you click.  Hope something turns out.

4. Insert compact flash card into computer.  Begin swearing even more vehemently (This is when being the daughter of a sailor comes in really handy.  It’s in the blood.) when you realize that the dang card became corrupted.  Not only did you lose your fireworks photos, but you lost half the photos from your trip to the Maritime Festival on Mother’s Day weekend.

5. Spend two hours trying to salvage whatever photos you can.  Upload the one fireworks photo that might possibly be viewable to Picnik.

6. Commence happy dancing when it works!

7. Plan for next year: Get on the elliptical and start chugging water, because you’re only 55 pounds away from the weight loss goal where you’ve promised yourself a DSLR camera and nice lens.  Vow to hang the tripod case on the front door on July 1, so you can’t possibly forget to take it with you.