I have a pair of notes about this image of the Statue of Liberty. First, the focus is off, which really annoys me because no focus is easier to get right than infinity, as long as you remember to focus. Looking back at my output for the day, I think my error here was that I switched lenses for this shot. I had been shooting at infinity and manual focus on another lens and so I had not had to refocus for several shots. Then I switched lenses and forgot that just because the old lens was in focus did not mean that this lens was in focus. Fortunately the moderately closed aperture of f/10 saved the shot to some extent, and when I needed an appropriate shot for Independence Day I pulled this one out.
My second note is that this image is not HDR and never needed HDR, but I shot multiple brackets anyway. It came in useful because this image was generated from the -1 exposure. I possibly could have achieved a similar result from a neutral exposure raw image, but it would have generated more noise and taken more work. As it was, I was able to choose from a set of different exposures to pick the one that would be easiest to work with. The point being that if you are dealing with a static subject, and have the equipment that makes shooting multiple brackets easy, you might as well shoot them, because the best image to work with might be slightly over or under exposed from neutral.
Finally, here is a neat animated representation of Stars and Stripes Forever. Everybody loves the piccolos in this piece of music, but my favorite part is the repeated descending patterns that lead first to the piccolos, and second time to the whole damn orchestra just being magnificent. Happy Independence Day everyone.
One more. My favorite melancholy Fourth of July song: