Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Fireworks

Say what you will about Americans, but we are really, really good at blowing things up. And for this week's Shooting Challenge—and the 4th of July!—we're going to celebrate that in our traditional fashion.


The Challenge

Photograph fireworks. They can be big, small, extreme, or perfectly quaint.

The Method

As I've said before, if you have a point and shoot, it most likely has a fireworks mode. There's no shame in using it. But in past years (2011, 2012) these were the tried and true tips that have worked:


• 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 Example

Our lead shot is by Ryan Moynihan from last year's challenge. That shot was taken on a Samsung Galaxy SII.


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.


Oh, and BE SAFE.

Send your best photo by Monday, July 8th 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 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!


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