Fireworks are the best part of July 4th (the worst part, btw, is that we lost the fantastic British accents). So for this week’s Shooting Challenge, photograph fireworks.

The Challenge

Photograph fireworks. They can be big ones that your city shoots off, or tiny snakes that you light in your driveway.


The Method

I know, I know, most of you will just pull out your iPhone, aim it at the sky, and hope everything goes alright. For everyone else bringing their dSLR along, here’s a great list of tips from our first Fireworks challenge 5 years ago! (They’re still good)


• DPhoto Journal recommends three different aperture/ISO combinations that work for many circumstances.
• Digital Photography School instructs us that using “bulb mode” exposure will allow you to tweak the shutter speed perfectly.
• Photodoto really nails the practicality, instructing how to compensate your settings depending on the types of wonky shots you’re capturing.

Oh, and you can also make gifs! (if you make a gif, just keep them under 3MB for us)


The Example

Our lead shot is by Andy Meehan, from our first fireworks challenge. I hear Michael Bay still keeps the tab open and stares at it longingly from time to time.


The Rules - READ THESE

0. No watermarks. They’re so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, July 6th at 10AM Eastern to with “Fireworks” in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameFireworks.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameFireworksWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don’t skip this story part because it’s often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

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