Shooting Challenge: Fireworks

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Fireworks

This Sunday, our fine nation celebrates blowing up other nations for its independence. Let's pay homage to the sparkling splendor by capturing photography of the festivities.


The Challenge

Photograph fireworks, large or small, going boom. Large-scale city fireworks are great, as are sparklers, snakes and various other holiday-certified combustibles. But I really want to see some sparks flying.


The Method

If you have a point and shoot, it most likely has a fireworks mode. Don't be above using it! (Engineers spent a lot of time and money honing those presets.) But for those of you working on DSLRs, I have three links, the top three results in Google, btw.

• 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.

The Rules - READ THESE

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos need to be taken the week of the contest. (No portfolio linking or it spoils the "challenge" part.)
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 800px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. (The 800px image is the one judged, so feel free to crop/alter the larger image for wallpaper-sized dimensions.)
6. One submission per person.


Send your best entries by Monday, July 5th at 1PM Eastern (yes, I'm giving you extra time) to with "Fireworks" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameFireworks.jpg (800px) and FirstnameLastnameFireworksWallpaper.jpg (2560px) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with 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!

[Crisp lead photo by Swanee 3, full shooting details here]

ALSO, we haven't forgotten about the cellphone Shooting Challenge. But due to problems with our image server this week, we still don't have the results fully up and running. My apologies, we are working on it and hope to post results ASAP (right now, I'm hoping that means tomorrow).


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I got some cool ones a couple years ago. I was zooming in while shooting to get some cool effects.

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