Photo Essay

Light Art

Heavenly Notes (for Don)

This 4th of July I finally got to experience the fun of capturing fireworks. In the past I was either overseas during that holiday or didn't have the right kind of camera. Before heading to the 4th festivities, I checked several sites and books on how best to shoot fireworks. Discovered the general consensus is you need to use a tripod, a camera that allows you to take long exposures and a remote shutter release. I had all except for the last item (on my wish list). Also important to get a good location and everything set up before it gets dark and the show begins. Here are the settings that worked best for me: manual, "Bulb" exposure, ISO 100, focus on infinity, aperture from f8 to f16, and timed shutter release to start just before burst began and kept open until it stopped. The real fun and cool results happened during multiple explosions. I took over 200 shots and kept 28. These are some of my favorites. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did the first time I saw them.

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13 responses

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield said (9 Jul 2012):

    You really got some amazing shots, and I am especially impressed that this is the first time you've tried it!! I definitely enjoyed the series, and certainly voted!!

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (9 Jul 2012):

    Voted! Some great shots and creativity behind them! Were any of these taken from a tripod?

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (9 Jul 2012):

    Thanks, you two. Don, each were taken from a tripod.

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (9 Jul 2012):


  • Carol Arntsen Masiak

    Carol Arntsen Masiak gave props (10 Jul 2012):

    my vote on this great series and lesson...and may the sizzle of summer be kind to you and your family!

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (10 Jul 2012):

    Oh YEAH/RAD! You did a great job, you don't look as if you are a novice at this at all I must say! I voted.

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (10 Jul 2012):

    Excellent!!! Voted!!

  • Michaela K.

    Michaela K. gave props (13 Jul 2012):


  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (13 Jul 2012):

    You prepared yourself very well for shooting these fireworks and you did a marvelous job...You have my vote.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (15 Jul 2012):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • Davide Simone

    Davide Simone (Deleted) said (16 Jul 2012):


  • jackie b

    jackie b gave props (24 Jul 2012):

    Ugh I'm so jealous. I'm never able to photograph fireworks no matter how hard I try. I'd love some tips sometime. You're amazing.

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (3 Aug 2012):

    Nice story & pix.

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