Americans sure do love blowing things up. And here are 111 amazing photos that prove it.
Lead Shot: Surgery Required
Safety First: Pretty standard Fourth of July backyard BBQ. Cold beers, hot meats, and bottle rockets. My friend was afraid the sparks from the rockets would burn so she threw on a dish glove and a surgical mask and let them fly. Taken with my Samsung Galaxy SII. Some slight post processing done in GIMP.
- Ryan Moynihan
Every year Cedar Point in my hometown of Sandusky, OH has been shooting off fireworks for the 4th of July. You can get great views of them without even being at the park. I found a nice spot across the Sandusky Bay, but wasn't sure exactly what type of shot I wanted. Luckily I was able to get the water, the park, and a great explosion all in one. I debated on turning in the Black & White Version, but thought the color was more festive. The technical stuff: Canon EOS Rebel T3, 75 - 300 mm lens, ISO 100, f/4, 2.0s.
- Brian Cassidy
This was the second year of our traditional "shoot fireworks in our driveway" celebration of July 4th. Here in the Bay Area, you can only shoot "safe and sane" fireworks. Plenty of neighbors were launching the illegal fireworks and M-80s, producing nice, echoing booms. This particular firework was launching everything at once, giving us our own version of San Diego's all-or-nothing fireworks show. I liked the variety of lines and colors, and that a lot of it was captured in this shot. Shot with a Canon 7D and a 50mm f/1.4 at f/14, ISO 200, and 2 second exposure.
- Matt Lass
I had no intentions to watch the fireworks along the Hudson on the 4th since I didn't feel like waiting hours without access to a bathroom. As I was scrolling through Facebook, my room suddenly lit up and I heard a loud bang coming from outside my window. I realized the block behind mine were setting off huge fireworks and rushed to grab my camera. I looked through my shots and found it interesting that the fireworks looked as if they came out of the chimney of a house behind mine.
Nikon D7000, 28mm at f/7.1, 13 second exposure, ISO 100.
- Pavaris Ketavanan
I missed fireworks this year, but couldn't miss the opportunity to capture this picture of these "fireworks" while working on a construction project this weekend! This image is taken on a Nikon D300, 18mm, f/ 3.5 and a 2 second exposure.
- Brittany Laeger
The day was spent debating whether the effort would be worth it to fight the crowd and drive from Beaverton (Portland, OR) into Vancouver (Vancouver, WA, for the Fort Vancouver firework show) to see the big show. I haven't been in years, but with my girlfriend having never been, we decided it would be a great way to spend the evening. We got there with a few hours to spare and enjoyed some food and music with a good spot on the grass near the big oak tree. Having the fireworks on land this year (instead of the barge on the river), I decided the oak tree would help frame the fireworks nicely, and the slight hill would be perfect to see the silhouette of the crowd. After the fireworks started, I tried several different settings to play around with the amount of fireworks visible in a given shot. After some edits, I ended up with half a dozen shots that were quite nice. Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105mm, 8 seconds, f/10, ISO-1250, taken at 24mm, Android Tablet (Toshiba Thrive) tethered using DSLR Controller via mini-USB
- Chris Larson
Fireworks reflected in the pool of my friend's backyard. The squiggly lines of the fireworks were caused by ripples in the water. It's technically an HDR because I combined two photos to balance out the exposure of the pool and yard. Taken with a Canon 7D and a Sigma 17-35 at 17mm, f/11, ISO-500, 45 second exposure for the top third, and 19 seconds for the water.
- Angelico Tolentino
This picture was shot last night, 7-7-12. I purchased my D5100 the Friday before the show. I have never owned a SLR or DSLR before. Having never shot fireworks before, I started with Giz's guide posted a week back, and tweaked settings from there. This is the original image with no post-production done. (Haven't figured that out yet) :P The show was put on at my co-worker's house, and the cake was a 500g caked named "Red, White, & Bluetiful". Nikon D5100, 18-55 VR Kit Lens @ 18mm, f/22, ISO-100, 6.4sec exposure time, Bulb Mode
- Justin Schaefer
Photo is a composite of several shots I took at the Stillwater Oklahoma fireworks show (at the appropriately named "boomer" lake). I put on my red white and blue, picked up some super sized fast food on the way, sat in my Oklahoma State bag chair in the weeds at the edge of the lake to capture this series of photos, then sat in traffic forever trying to get home. If that's not 'MERICA then i don't know what is! Canon 7D, Manfrotto tripod head, Sigma 10-20 Rectilinear Wide Angle, ISO 400 to ISO 100, F8 through F11, 2.5 second to 8 second exposures.Images taken in RAW, post processed in Lightroom, compositing done in GIMP.
- Thomas Hays
I almost snuck in to a Private Golf Club's fireworks show but got busted at the last minute so I didn't have too much time to scout out a new location. I just set up in someone's driveway on a nearby street and went to town. I used the remote shutter button for my Nikon 5100 and pretty much left my settings in tact throughout the whole show, short of the shutter timings. This is the one shot that stuck out when looking through all my shots afterwards. f/10, 11sec shutter, 18-55mm Nikkor @36mm, 100 ISO
- Dan Durakovich
Playing with the zoom while taking photos during our local display. I zoomed in and out during the exposure, and i like the look it gave it. Canon Rebel T2i, EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, exposure time 1"3, f/7.1, ISO 100.
- Cassidy Wales
I shot this in Washington DC, along the Tidal Basin, at the new Martin Luther King Memorial. Went to DC to get a good spot near the Washington Monument on the National Mall, but got there too late and our path to that area was closed off. Luckily this area around the MLK Monument was quite empty except for a few National Park Service and Press photographers. It was a great view to see them up that close. Nikon D300, 2 sec, f/22.0, ISO 200, Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8
- Jeff Gamble
Taken at the fireworks show put on by the Austin Symphony at Auditorium Shores at Town Lake Metropolitan Park. Before the fireworks show was a free concert including many patriotic hits ending with a finale of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. The fireworks show looked great over Lady Bird Lake. Shot with a Canon T1i and Canon 35mm f/1.4L. ISO 100, f/8.0, 3", bulb exposure. Very limited post processing, just a little contrast boost.
- Andrew Goolsbee
To put it simply, my brother-in-law's dog, Lucy loves fireworks. Every dog I've ever known is terrified of fireworks, but not Lucy. She appears (quite literally) to be fascinated by them. Before I snapped this picture she was chasing down sparklers and trying to bite them. In case anyone was worried, no Lucy's were harmed in the taking of this photo. Canon T2i, EF-S 18-135mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO: 400
- John Thvedt
Wonderful entries, everyone. It's fascinating how different fireworks can look through the use of ever so slightly different techniques. And thanks for working through all those fireworks shows for our collective enjoyment. The full galleries are below, which include a lot of great shots we couldn't feature above. The big, wallpaper-sized shots are on flickr.