Canon SD750 (point and shoot)
Full zoom (17.4 mm)
2-second exposure
ISO 80
Infinite focus
I like using a skyline for context — it gives you both a sense of
place and a sense of scale. I secured a spot in Midtown St. Louis (a
couple miles from the river/Arch/downtown where the fireworks are) to
shoot from the 15th floor. To avoid reflections and dust from the
window glass, I basically stuck my arm out the window and braced the
camera against the side of the building
-Brent Jones

Equipment: Nikon D90 AF-S Nikkor 18-105mm Lens.
Settings: F18, ISO 320, 32mm, 2.5 sec shutter speed
Technique/Story: I recently got into photography and finally purchased my first camera this
past week. With the Forth of July being my favorite holiday I was very eager to take some
firework shots. I researched the technique quite a lot and tested many settings during different
firework shows this weekend. I am currently spending my summer in Wheaton IL for a school
internship and I was able to quickly find a great place to shoot nearby. I am very
pleased with the results I got out of this shot.
-Michael Zeller

Nikon D700 on tripod ISO400
Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VRII @ 200mm F/4.0 1/5sec
After two barbeque's and two trips to the toilet, I decided that I did
not want to be outside anymore busting my way through a bunch of
Bostonians to get a shot of some fireworks. Luckily, someone left the
door to the roof of my building open and I got a few shots of the
Boston fireworks from the comfort of my own home.
-Aaron Hwang

Shot this with a Nikon D3000 and a Sigma lens.
Iso 100 f/8.0 92mm 2.3 second exposure.
Went to University of Maryland in College Park for the fireworks. Ended up getting there WAY to early and wandering around for a while. After I finally sat back down and started setting up my camera I realized I had never set my camera in bulb mode before and set about trying to figure how to do it. Finally I realized I had to put it in "Time" mode since I was using a wireless remote shutter release. I actually ended up with several incredible (at least to me) shots and had a real tough time choosing one to submit. I kinda think this one looks like feathers a little bit o.O
-Peter Myers

Three years ago, and two years ago, and last year I had to work on the fourth. This year, I didn't. I double-checked that I had the camera and the shoe and the tripod, and headed for the lakeshore. And as I was taking a few preliminary test shots before the show started...the low battery indicator started flashing. At least I got off a few shots...
I was using a point 'n' shoot Canon PowerShot SX110, the ISO was left on auto, and it was a 13 second exposure. And yes, that's a tree and a road sign in the foreground. The wind pushed the display out of position; you should have seen the people start scrambling when the show started
-Ben Scripps

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS
Lens: 18-55mm basic lens
ISO: 200
F Number: 6.3
Exposure Time: 2.5 seconds
Photo Taken On: June 30, 2010 at 9:34:50PM
Location: Astoria Park, Astoria, NY
Story: This is my first year living on my own and the 2nd time I've ever seen fireworks in my entire life. I'm pretty new to the DSLR world and thought it would be a great opportunity to experiment and learn more about my camera at this fireworks event. I was absolutely amazed watching the fireworks with my love and best of all: my camera had captured the excitement. I love my DSLR and I'm happy to be able to capture special moments in my life. All I can say is "Dear Life, You are amazing. Love, Me"
-katherine lee

Nikon D300 with a Sigma 28-70 2.8 lens (at 35mm), manually focused, ISO 200, F2.8 and 13 second exposure. Lighting was ambient light coming through the window of the house behind me. No post processing (I'm away from home) except to resize. Photo was taken Sunday night in Maumee, Ohio. I placed the camera on a bench to keep it steady. It took quite a few shots to get some with fireworks actually in them, they were set off at random and probably not part of a show!
-Alison Downs

My camera is a sony alpha 300 and I was using a 70-300mm Tamron Zoom lens at ISO 100
There isn't much story to tell. Me and the wife went out to catch the Firework display being held on Randolph AFB Texas, only the shows being put on outside the base were turning out to be more interesting. I also felt that it was a good time to try out a defocus technique I read about on which is why the photo looks the way it does.
-Travis Schanaman

Shot with Canon 7D and Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 lens
17mm, 320 ISO, f/5.6, 3.2 second exposure
I've been wanting to jump in on one of these Gizmodo Photo Challenges for awhile now but never made the time for it until now. I love shooting fireworks. Every chance I get to photograph fireworks I've always got my camera ready to go. I didn't get a chance to go to a public event this year to take photos unfortunately. So after a couple of my friends and brother finished off our "fireworks" if you even want to call them that (legal Georgia garbage) we went on a cruise til we found a area that was launching fireworks like as if it was the end of the world tomorrow. I got some other great shots but I'm quite sure they will be nothing compared to the others that are entered. So I'm submitting this shot as my wild card. To me it looks as if it was a vase with a couple of red flowers blossoming. Red flowers of fire, ah how I love the 4th of July :)\
-Derek Twigg

This was shot on a tripod built in the 1920s, using a Nikon D40 with a nikor 70-300mm lens set to 70. the ISO was 100, the shutter speed was at 30 seconds and the f stop was at f8.
My friend had asked me to come join him and his girlfriend to watch the fireworks in our home town. The fireworks were being shot off from the harbor and we found a high cliff over the harbor to watch the show. The harbor faces north on the north shore of Long Island NY, and if you look and the background you can see Connecticut as well. I like this shot a lot because to me it closely resembles palm trees, you know the cheesey light up kind you see at restaurants trying to be tropical.
-Dave Schildhorn

Nikon D80 w/ Sigma 10-20 at 20mm, f/11, ISO 100, 3 second exposure
This was my first time shooting the fireworks, unfortunately there wasn't much of interest around to include a foreground.
The shot was taken at the Sandwich Fairgrounds in Sandwich IL, where my girlfriend and I went to enjoy the show this year.
-Jim Miller

I recently purchased a DLSR to better my skills as a photographer. I love taking pictures, but never have had a good camera until now.
I shot from the beach of the local fireworks show with my Canon 50D and a 28-135mm lens with ISO 100 and F8.0.
I used the extended lens speed, and put my wallet in front of the lens between bursts to minimize smoke and other things.
Dinky tripod that was about 1.5' off the ground, just enough to keep 'er steady! Loved taking pictures, and love to share!
-Matt Himple

I took this photograph at the fireworks on a beach in Onset, MA down the Cape. I was on the beach with my boyfriend and his friends and after being burnt from the sun, hit with people throwing around glow sticks (three times in a row) and having one of his friends making a snide remark about my "interesting" choice in cameras, I was more than determined to have a great shot of the fireworks to be able to submit to this contest and I hope this works!
I used a DSLR camera: Sony a330 with a standard 18-55mm lens that I just got at Best Buy at the beginning of summer. It's my first DSLR camera =). I used the manual exposure setting and had it on Bulb for exposure and rested it on my stomach since that was the sturdiest thing I have. My hands shake more than a scared little puppy's legs and I have yet to invest in a tripod.
-Elizabeth Fleming

For this shot, I wanted to get a different view of the action and cut in on all the fun that I imagine the guys triggering these things off have on the 4th. Boys never do grow up - I'm proof!
I used a tripod with the camera on manual mode + bulb setting. I had fun ahead of this shot having my daughter and friends write their names with sparklers (my night of photo cliche complete). Needless to say they were quite amused, as was I, with the way the photos came out. Viva la bulb!
Body: Nikon D90
Lens: Nikkor 16-85 VR set to manual
Focal Length: 85mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: 10.0 sec at f/10
- Mike Masone

Camera: Canon EOS T2i
Lens: Canon 18-55mm
ISO: 200 and 400
Shutter speed: Bulb (Around 1-2 seconds)
Aperture: f5.6
Story: Taken July 4th weekend of fireworks people smuggled into Massachusetts. Lighting off illegal fireworks is the whole idea of being American and celebrating independence!
-Timmy Burgess

For this shot I used my FujiFilm FinePix S9100 with the following settings (ISO 80, f/11, 8 sec exposure).
My fiance and I were trying to get to the fireworks, but had a late start and the traffic was horrible. When the show started we pulled into a business parking lot and tried to find the best spot we could. The trees were in the way, but the show was still great and I think it added an interesting element to this shot.
-Matthew Recker

Shooting summary:
Camera: Canon XSI
Mode: TV
Iso: 200
Shutter Speed: 1/15
Aperture : F/2.8
Lens: Tamron AF 17-50mm
Photo Background:
While trying to take a few fireworks pics at my families annual fourth of July party, I noticed my little cousin playing with a sparkler.
I thought it odd she would rather play with sparklers then watch the big fireworks going on above. I snapped a quick pic of her.
I didn't have a tripod and there was no set up, just a beautiful candid capture. After a min or two I wondered over and asked her why she was playing with the sparklers instead of watching the fireworks.
-Chris Pinto

Pentax K-X with tripod
1/80 sec
28-200mm Tamron at 28mm
I was taking pictures of the fireworks we were setting off and my friends started running and jumping over them...maybe not smart but i got this prior to one run through.
-Nicholas Ritch

Nikon D60
AF NIKKOR 50 mm 1:1.8 D
100 ISO
20 second shutter speed
From the 134 bridge in Pasadena. I got their late for the fireworks from the Rose Bowl, and had to stand in the back, on the fence along the bridge. Because I don't have a tripod, I had to use the fence to steady the camera, and at the same time I couldn't see through the viewfinder, so I was shooting blind, and this was the last shot before my battery died. Not the best of circumstances, but this was the shot I enjoyed the most.
-Chad Whitaker

Shot with my GE X5 in fireworks mode out in Glendale, AZ. We were driving around for a while when found a pretty secluded spot behind the spring training fields. Nothing better than free parking and fireworks !
-James Murray

Shot this with my T2i on a gorillapod and my nifty 50 mm 1.8 @ 4.0 and and 30 second exposure. Danboard doesn't necessarily understand the 4th of July but nonetheless loves to shoot off a few bottle rockets.
-Timothy Schubert

My brother built a small M.L.R.S.(Multi Launch Rocket System) out of plywood from the garage. He drilled 28 holes to house 28 small bottle rockets. We set up the system on our porch, aiming out over our yard. I crouched down below it as he did the honors of spraying the fuses with a good five seconds of blow torch. As the fuses neared their end I hastily pushed the shutter button.
ISO 80
5 second shutter speed
Lens protector to keep soot and sparks from getting into my camera
An upturned plant pot for stability
-Peter Glitsch

Shot on a Canon 7D with a Tokina 11-16 f/2.8. 3 sec, f/4.0, 16mm, ISO 100, BULB mode.
For the first 15 minutes of the show, I just wasn't quite satisfied with the shots I was getting but about halfway through, these four boys came and sat down right in front of me. Turns out all I needed was some some spectators to anchor the bottom of my frame and add a human element to the chaos in the sky.
-Ansel Santosa

Canon T1i
18-55mm EF-S lens
Manual mode
10 second exposure (bulb mode)
RS-60 E3 remote switch
I took this shot at the Yorba Linda, CA 4th of July celebration. Had the shutter in bulb mode. My sister held the camera steady on the tripod while I adjusted the focus back and forth to get the floral effect. Did some basic contrast/curve adjustments in Adobe Lightroom.
-Giani Waghelstein

Taken with Nikon D40, 18-55mm zoomed to 32mm, shutter 3s, f/13, ISO 200. Took this photo at the Red White and Boom celebration in downtown Columbus, Ohio. We didn't get the most spectacular display this year, but there were some very colorful fireworks, the best of which are in this picture.
-Ryan Pena

Canon 7D
24-105mm F/4L IS USM
Focal length 105mm
ISO: 200
F/ 7.1
Exposure: 13 seconds
Irvine, CA isn't the greatest fireworks area around, seeing how we're surrounded by dry chaparral, but I took a little hike to the highest point in my neighborhood. For the first 15 mins all the shows were at least 20 miles away. Finally caught one ~10 miles out. Not a winner, I know, but since I went through all that trouble, might as well submit one.
-Jeff Hsu

Camera: Sony DSC-W300
Exposure: 1/2 sec
F-stop: f/3.2
ISO: 100
Comment: Taken from atop Canada Place at their Fireworks Reception in Vancouver on Canada Day. No tripod. No touch-ups. Just aimed the P+S and pressed the button.
-Brian Y.K. Cheng

For the Fourth I went to the fireworks display in Downtown Lansing Michigan. I took a total of 451, picked 24 of those to upload to my Flickr, and off all of those shots This was my favorite shot from the entire evening. In order to get the shot I just manually focused my lens as close to me as possible, set the aperture way down, and started shooting.
Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Exposure: 1
Aperture : f/1.8
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 200
-Matthew Katzenberger

Camera: Canon T1i
Lens: Canon EF-S 55mm-250mm
Settings: ISO800, f/5.6, 1/80sec
I decided to ditch the traditional firework show at the local mall and go to a block party in hopes of having more opportunities to get the right shot. That was probably the wrong decision because the smoke made the majority of my 400+ shots completely worthless. Not to mention they were doing 3 at a time so the amount of smoke in the air was overwhelming. I was expecting some larger fireworks so the bursts would fly a little higher. There were a few jems but this shot, which was shot earlier in the night and thus not as much smoke in the air, was my favorite. Kind of looks like the star burst itself was the only thing launched into the air.
-Scott Grasso

Camera: Canon Rebel XS
Lens: 18-55mm (Kit lens)
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1"6
I made sure and got there early to have a good seat. Unfortunately I sat too close so I was unable to use my new 50mm f/1.4 lens. I switched over to the, not as good, kit lens and was actually pleased with some of the results. I was just snapping pictures left and right hoping something would turn out good.
-Michael Fischer

Model: Canon EOS 50D
Lens: Sigma 18-250mm
Exposure: 13 second at f/9
ISO: 100
-Khanh Ha

Camera Make: Pentax
Camera Model: K20d
Date/time shot: 7/4/2010 10:20:41 PM
Shutter speed: 8 seconds (bulb)
Program: manual
F-stop: f/16
ISO Rating: 100
Focal length: 28mm
Lens: Sigma DG 28-70 1:2.8 EX
The following shot was taken in Seattle, Washington at the city's Family 4th fireworks festival. For the past few years I've shot in waders, standing behind my tripod in Seattle's Lake Union. This allows me two important things: space and no obstructions. I shoot with a wireless remote and on manual.
-Patrick Gateley

Pentax K-X in manual mode. Tamron 18-200mm at 200mm zoom. ISO set to 200, 10 second exposure and aperture set to f/20. Friends and family were gathered to watch the fireworks from a parking garage roof. Before sunset I'd blocked out where I would be shooting from and where I thought the fireworks would be flying. I setup the tripod and remote trigger then proceeded to spend the rest of the evening in conversation with the folks around me. Once the fireworks started flying I would hit the remote when I started to see the shells head up. I decided on this one because it was a nice red white and blue burst.
-Brian Hert

These fireworks were from the Liberty Lake, Washington fireworks show. I showed up late, scrambled to set up my tripod.. set up the camera.. Got it into the right mode - 100 iso, f/5.6, "bulb" shutter mode - so I could precisely control the shutter duration.
The starting taking the pictures. This was one of two that turned out okay. Surprisingly so. A remote clicker would've helped.
These were taken from a brand new Canon T2i, this is about the third time I've ever used it, and it is the first decent camera I've ever had (upgrade from a point and shoot).
Thanks for looking at the pictures, and thanks for reading this.
-Zane Allinger


Equipment Used:
Canon EOS Rebel T2i
Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS lens (at 67mm. 35mm equivalent = 105mm)
(no remote trigger, etc).

ISO 100
Aperture f/7.1
Shutter speed: 3.2s
Focus: Manual
None, with the exception of a minor color enhancement in PS prior to cropping.
Davis, California
Brief Story:
This is the first "real" event/action item I've had the opportunity to shoot with this camera. I set the camera up on the tripod in time for the 9:30p start time. 9:30p came, followed by the first firework shell, then a second, and a third, and then the sprinklers came on! We had to scurry off the lawn to avoid getting drenched
-Brett Woollum

Canon Rebel XTI
ISO 200
Focal Length: 55mm
Shutter-speed: Bulb (opened for 3 seconds)
Shot RAW, converted
Cropped, no other editing.
Shot from the rooftop of a building adjacent to the CBS studios in
Studio City, CA. CBS does a show every year and friends of mine are
lucky enough to A) live basically next door to the lot and B) have roof
access to their building.
-Christopher Kirkman

I am an amateur photographer who has just recently decided to take it to hobby status. Shooting fireworks has been one of the toughest challenges yet, and I have learned a considerable amount of information about using my camera outside of the "auto" setting by doing so. This photo was taken in North Las Vegas at the Aliante Station 4th of July display. I am shooting with an 18-55 lens (I was way too close for anything bigger, I quickly found out!) and Canon T2i on a tripod and with a wired remote. I shot the image at 400ISO f/7.1 and over 4 seconds. I really love the willowing effect of the four bursts; I hope you enjoy it!
-Dean A Yeomans

This photo was taken at the July 4th fireworks in Philadelphia behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Took a 16:9 picture in portrait mode and cropped out the people in front and empty sky above. Philly's fireworks are the best with the art museum below with fireworks shooting up from upfront and behind.
Stats: Sony Alpha A330 10.2 megapixels. 55-200mm lens taken at 55mm, 1/50 shutter speed, F8, iso3200
- Haroon Ahmad

Took this at a dinner hosted by the American ambassador to Switzerland. No fireworks over here, but for dessert, the restaurant put sparklers onto cream puffs.
Taken with my Nikon D5000, regular (18-55 mm) lens, on the "candlelight" preset.
-Clara Beyer

Shooting Summary:
Nikon D90
AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR
200 ISO, F/16.0, 70mm Focal Length, 3.5 Second Exposure
From the Thunder on the Mountain event at Vulcan Park in Birmingham, Alabama. This was my first major event that I decided to photograph, as well as my first time working with manual control of the shutter with a release cable. I did my research online and off, checking in with the local photography shop, and arrived two hours early to setup. It was the longest two hour wait, but it was worth every second.
-Daniel Seay

This shot was captured near my home in Merrimack NH of the local town fireworks display on 7/4/2010. It was imaged using a Pentax K20D DSLR with a Pentax 17-70mm f/4 DA SMC AL IF SDM Lens. I was shooting from a Bogen tripod with the lens set at 17mm. Aperture was F9.5, Shutter speed was 4 seconds using my remote control and the camera in bulb mode. ISO was set at 100. I really like the local town fireworks because the crows are smaller yet you really get some good shots. My technique last night was to wait for the whoomp of the mortar firing and as soon as I detected the shell ascending I would press the button on the remote opening the shutter and release once the explosion dissipated.
-Thomas O'Toole

Canon 40D with 28-135mm, 400iso, f.56 @ 409 second exposure. Balanced for tungsten lights in photoshop.
Fireworks display from Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center located in Twentynine Palms, California.
I experimented with long exposures to try an elevate a fireworks photograph.
The resulting image is almost a 7minute exposure causing the fireworks to look as if it were the sun rising.
-Jasmine Clark

Taken with Canon Rebel T1i on Bulb mode with a remote trigger. Used the kit lens, ISO 100, f/9.0, Bulb mode for shutter speed. This was at Oregon Ridge in Hunt Valley, Maryland at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Star Spangled Spectacular, hence all the people on the lawn. The symphony plays a great concert of patriotic music, and the last two songs are the 1812 Overture and Stars and Stripes Forever. During the last two songs there are supposed to be fireworks going off choreographed to the music but it didn't happen due to problems. Though, once the show got started it was great!
-Breanna Sisk

Taken with Nikon D40x, 18-55mm kit lens. Picture shot in Manual exposure mode at:
ISO 100
shutter 2 sec
This is my first time to try to shoot fireworks. It was definitely a lot harder than I thought, but this one came out best of the whole night. I wanted to get parts of Chicago's skyline into the shot as well to make it a bit more interesting. It was a pretty good show, if not for the ghetto trash sitting behind me saying ridiculous things like "Japanese have fireworks and shit, like when they celebrate Chinese New Year...".
-John Kelly

Used a D60, 55mm lens, at f6.3 for 20 sec. Taken at a 4th of July party with some friends.
-Connor Greenwell

Nikon D3000
Shutter: 10.0s
ISO: 100
So my family stayed at this hotel in Myrtle Beach all last week for vacation. Last night, all I had to do was to walk on to the beach and there were seriously lots of rich people with lots of expensive fireworks for miles. I really enjoyed watching everyone else's fireworks go off, knowing I hadn't spent a dollar.
-Austin Gohn

Taken with a Canon 5D and 17-40 f/4L lens at ISO400, 25 seconds and f/8 (on a tripod of course). The location was a field on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC where we had a great view of the fireworks AND the launching setup. The accumulation of smoke and fireworks made for some great photography!
-Wesley Duffee-Braun

ISO 100, f8, Nikon D3000 on a Manfrotto Tripod and wireless remote. This shot was taken at the fireworks show in Limerick, PA at Turtle Creek Golf Club.
-Stephen Konzelman

camera d90
100 ISO
5 second shutter
nikon 33mm
This is the last Independence Day fireworks celebration at Omaha's historic Rosenblatt Stadium.
Next year it will be a parking lot.
-mike machian

I live in Weehawken New Jersey on the edge of a cliff right outside the Lincoln Tunnel. So this year for the second year in a row they had the Macy's fireworks on the Hudson. Normally it's on the East River. Last year i wanted to take photos but I couldn't because my wife locked us out of our house haha. But this year i was prepared. Got situated on the balcony and started snapping away. I have a lot of photos but like this one mostly because of the colors. The crowds on the street were insane so without a balcony this would not have been such an easy shot to get. Well hope you enjoy.
-Luis Ayala

A group of friends headed up to my buddy's cottage for Canada Day long weekend. We just threw some fireworks into a bucket, put it at the end of the dock by the lake, and let it fly. We're probably standing way too close to the thing, but nobody got hurt.
-Albert Choi

This is the annual fireworks display at Lenox Square in Atlanta GA. My vantage point wasn't superb, but I did sneak in a cool city shot from the MARTA station. My tripod also broke that day, so I had to improvise with my wallet and the ledge to prop the camera in place.
Canon Rebel T2i
f 7.1
4 second exposure
-Max Nystrom

This shot was taken in St Paul, MN, off a bridge
overlooking the Mississippi River. The fireworks show was
part of the "Taste of Minnesota" which is held yearly in the
same area.
My equipment was a Canon Xsi with the kit lens and a tripod.
The picture was taken at an aperture F4 for 3.2 seconds.

I shot this Sunday night at a local display in Alpharetta, GA No special equipment. I used my Canon 550D, Canon EF 28-135mm ultrasonic lens, and a tripod. ISO 3200, f/7.1, 1/100.
-David Holmes