Happy Fourth of July America


Once again, the greatest country in the world celebrates its birthday.  This means it is time for the light shows in the sky (courtesy of China firework factories).   Today is another guest blog entry courtesy of my wife’s photography.  We basically just learned the trick to taking fireworks pictures and was out catching the local displays to try it out.  To be honest, the settings are only about 40% of the effort.  It is all about timing since you have to keep the shutter open for a number of seconds.  However, when you get lucky, it sure looks good.


I really like this one she took for a couple of reasons.  The color is really crisp, but generally fountains give off way to much light and overpower the image.  She had the shutter timing perfectly for that oneand gives an interesting shadow as it shot through the trees.

This one came from the same display.  It gives the impression of huge sparklers suspended in the air.  Too bad the fountain had to be cut off the bottom, but that would have probably washed out the shot.


The hardest shots are the large flowering fireworks due to having to guess the timing (about 1 second after you see the propulsion flame go out works pretty good) and harder yet is trying to guess the diameter of the explosion to set the zoom appropriately (yes, we are zoomed in pretty good).  To be honest, the off center ones give an interesting artistic impression.

Hit the jump to see some of these pictures


She got all of that one and the colors were pretty sharp.   Here is a similar image with a whiter shade of tail.  The amazing thing about this shot is the fact it was pretty windy the night we took these and this is one of the few that didn’t have a large wind effect in it (lots of her other shots showed a drift to the right).


This ones shows the wind effect I mentioned, but due to the angle of the explosion, it actually contributed to the shot.  There must have been another rocket crossing through the flower or possibly the explosion ejected additional fireworks.  It adds a little flair to the image.


To be honest, the full size images (12M NEFs) look a lot better than these reduced versions.  They still look pretty stunning and thanks to Linda for sharing her work.  Keep in mind this is the first time she even tried this and the results were darn good.  She is pretty excited about having another opportunity at a local party coming up in October.  I can’t wait to show those off!

One thought on “Happy Fourth of July America”

  1. Nice shots! Did you use a tripod and maybe a remote? I’ve heard both are good ideas for fireworks, but haven’t personally tried it with ’em.

    Thanks! we did use a tripod – a SLIK one we recently purchased which turned out to be a good move since the wireless remote was not working all that great for us. We figured out a better way to do the remote during our second session of fireworks, but I was using the D70 on the old unsteady tripod so I used it on that camera – strangely, it wanted me on the side of the camera and a little bit forward before it would react the way I wanted it to. These shots were taken with the D90 on the Slik triipod. Since it was sturdier, Linda could press the trigger without any movement in the camera (amazing since it was actually sitting in the bed of the truck for the first few pictures posted). It was recommended we go to bulb mode, but that is darn hard to do – especially with the remote since it requires multiple presses for the shutter to actually close. Next on the agenda… Lightening! Hey, thank for taking the time to drop by and even more appreciative taking the effort to comment.


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