July 1, 2011

Photographing Fireworks

Fireworks, 2009

It's America's Independence Day weekend (the official day is July 4, Monday) and people and communities around the nation will be celebrating with fireworks, a tradition since 1777! It's great fun to make pictures of the pyrotechnics. You can read my original article on the subject here.

Fireworks, 2009


The pictures in this article were taken with a DSLR using a 105mm lens with a cable release on a tripod. Exposures were f/11 @ ISO 400 for 1 or 2 seconds. I actually placed the shutter speed on Bulb and held the shutter open with the cable release button for each burst. I found I could time the explosions better this way than using the camera for the length of the exposure.

These images are also heavily cropped to remove a nearby electrical pole and tree branches I failed to see in the dark! Check your surroundings before shooting!

Also check out two excellent articles from the New York Institute of Photography. They cover both the professional displays and the type of fireworks you might celebrate with in your own backyard.

Fireworks Photos or Have Fun on the Fourth of July

Fireworks Pictures: Photographing Fireworks in Your Backyard

Have fun and Be Safe!

Fireworks, 2009