This picture was shot in Big Rapids MI on July 4, 2012. I use a Canon 50D with 18-55mm lens. I set the camera to ISO 100, f11, 20 seconds. I also use auto focus and take a photo of something far away at least an hour before the show to get the focus of the lens set to infinity, then switch it to manual so that the camera doesn't keep searching for a focus lock during the show. lens 18mm. I use a remote shutter release so that once I dial the camera in, I can sit back & enjoy the show. I set everything on a Manfroto portable tripod with ball head. I made some adjustments in Lightroom 3 to recovery, clarity, vibrance, and saturation.

- Nick Woyak


After walking around all day in 100 degree temperatures throughout Philadelphia to Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Fairmount Park, I finally set up along the Ben Franklin Parkway looking down towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art (better known to most of you as the steps Rocky ran up). Tens of thousands of people showed up for the 4th of July festival, concert, and fireworks. This was one of my two favorites from the night with the fireworks shooting out from the top center of the Art Museum. This and some of the other shots were well worth hanging around in the heat all day. Next time I'll remember to bring some water.

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: 7/4/2012
Canon EOS 7D
Exposure: 4sec
Focal Length: 47mm

- Peter Brousseau


This was one of those fireworks that "wizz" around, I managed to hit the shutter just as it burst. The resulting sparks don't fly in a straight line, which make for a very interesting light painting.

Setup: Sony A65 w/ "nifty fifty" (75mm equiv) @ f/8 and ISO-100; no post-processing other than a crop. Exposure was roughly five seconds. No tripod or remote shutter, 'tis out of the budget for the moment w/ the kilobuck I dropped on the camera a month back, so I set the camera on a deck rail and tilted it up by placing the lens on my left index finger. My three year old tearing around the deck didn't help stabilize the image. Next year? Tripod, remote shutter, and solid surface.

- Rob Ogilvie


Camera: Canon 60d
Lens: Rokinon FE8M
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/8
Exposure: 2.0seconds

I had my camera mounted on a gorilla pod, on the railing of the MIT sailing pavilion for the Boston July 4th fireworks. Officials had already ordered people to take cover once, due to an impending storm. Right before the fireworks started, it began to rain lightly. The low moon and clouds gave the sky an eerie brownish tint. Once I got the framing I wanted, I fired off shots using a remote trigger in Bulb mode on the camera. This was the last capture I got before the skies opened up in a downpour.

Using the fisheye allowed me to get a lot of context in the frame, such as the wide skyline of boston, and the people on the dock watching.


- Mark Zegarelli

Canon EOS 60D ISO 100, Tamron AF17-50mm f/2.8 DI-II LD Aspherical, f11 and 3 second exposure. Disneyland Main Street.


When I first saw this photo on the screen I couldn't figure out what I am looking at, I've never seen a firework look like that and I certainly did not see it during the shoot. Up on close examination I realized during the shoot a little girl walked by me and accidentally trip the tripod on one of shot. I remember I have to hold on the tripod and end it up close the shutter 2 second early, this photo is the result of that accidental bump during the planned 5 second exposure.

- Robert Ho


It was my second time shooting fireworks so i was hoping for something good.
The first time at the Golden Gate 75th anniversary went terrible. Read your tips
and after waiting all day at the fair for it this is what i got.

Second Times A Charm

Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: VR 18-105mm F/3.5-5.6G
Exposure: 5 seconds
ISO: 100
Aperture: F/11
Focal Length: 18mm
Location: San Rafael, CA


- Roberto Palacios

Camera : Canon SX30IS
ISO : 100
Aperture: F/8.0
Exposure : 4 sec.
Location: Lake Union, Seattle


Folks, I do not own a DSLR but have installed CHDK for my Canon SX30IS. I left my place around 6 pm. I knew I won't get a place to stand at Gasworks park where the view is completely outstanding with Seattle downtown and space needle in background. So I was roaming for an hour to find a parking in east side of Lake Union. Parked the car at few blocks away and walked down to Eastlake Boulledrome Park, a very small place, fortunately only few people there with parties going in the house on the streets, weather was just perfect. The best thing happened was the fireworks boat got lined up exactly in front of us and got a nice place to set my tripod. I moved to Seattle in September 2011 and this was my first July 4th in Seattle.

- Sagar Shukla


Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: 24-105mm
8 seconds, f/10, ISO-1250, taken at 24mm
Android Tablet (Toshiba Thrive) tethered using DSLR Controller via mini-USB

Story details:
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.

- Chris Larson


Shooting Summary
Body: Canon T2i
Lens: EF-S 18-135mm
Focal Length: 100
F stop: 5.6
Exposure Time: 1/125
ISO: 400

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.

- John Thvedt


Canon Rebel XSi with no special settings. Just no flash.

We were illegally lighting small fireworks off in the neighbors driveway. She was getting a bit close to the action while lighting them. I took this shot while laying on my stomach to try and make the fireworks seem much larger than they really were. The giant hand here spoils that one, but I just thought this looked really cool.

- Chris Martinich


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


There really isn't much of a back story here. I have a sony nex-5n. live in a fairly small town, population approximately 35,000. So the fireworks are fairly lame. So the fireworks were set to start at 9:30. At 9 i arrive looking for my friends, with whom I had planned on meeting there, but none of them were answering their phones. So i start wandering around with a camera mounted on a tripod looking like a lunatic for 30 minutes. By the time i sat down i missed the first five minutes but that didn't really matter. This is the first time I have tried taking pictures of fireworks so I was fairly lost. And on top of that since my town has pretty lame fireworks, for a good portion of the time there are only one or two going off at a time, so i figured out to increase my shutter speed to around 50"-90" at which i had to hold the button the entire time. By the time I took this picture I had started to get a bunch of good ones. However I ruined the finale because i left my shutter open for 139", which just gave me a giant white spot in the middle. So here is a picture I took shortly before the finale.
This was shot with the stock lens, 18-55mm e-mount lens 3.5-5.6. ISO 100: f/18: 80": 18mm

- Ryan Izant


I shot this with a Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.5 on a Canon T1i. A family friend took us to their "secret spot" to watch these fireworks, but a bunch of us wanted to be a part of the crowd so we got up very close. At first I tried getting more traditional fireworks shots, but then I decided to try and make them look like explosions in space. Though I think I got decent results, they actually look even better layered on top of one another (but I don't think submitting one of those is in the spirit of this particular challenge).

- Bryan Kolb


This was my first time shooting fireworks (with a camera ;) ) and I'm pretty happy with how they came out. We ended up sitting ridiculously close to where they were launching them and I could barely get the fireworks in frame. The moon was almost full that night as well so I snapped some pictures of it and made a composite of fireworks and the moon.

Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikon 18-200 VRII
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/16
Exposure: 5 seconds

- Michael Berman


Most people around St. Louis sit on the lawn under the Arch and watch the fireworks show, but this year, I stayed back about two miles to get a bit of the city in the shot and because I took my dog with me and he isn't allowed on the arch grounds. I setup my Canon T2i on a tripod with a Canon EF 28-135mm lens in the 100 degree heat. The tower in the middle is Union Station, with the court house lit up on the left and the top of the Arch on the right. I love how the fireworks are reflected off of the AT&T building on the far left and the explosions within the explosions of the fireworks. Technical details: F/5.6, 1/20 Second, 6400 ISO, 85mm focal length

- Joshua Dersch


My first event where I shot everything in M mode; even bought a tripod and remote shutter for the occasion. I always fear that too many bursts in succession might overwhelm the sensor, but it held its own and even captured more detail than I expected.

Camera: Canon Rebel T2i
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS
Exposure: 5 seconds (bulb)
ISO: 400
Aperture: f/11
Focal Length: 18mm
Location: Miller Outdoor Theatre/Hermann Park, Houston TX

- John Magsipok


This was my first serious attempt in shooting fireworks. Getting the exposure right is something I had to work on. This shot was taken from Watson Island.
Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: 50mm
ISO: 100
F-stop: f/13
Exposure: 4Sec

- Carlos Garrido


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.

11sec shutter
18-55mm Nikkor @36mm
100 ISO

- Dan Durakovich


Panasonic DMC-G2 on Tripod
ISO 100
Lens: Lumix G Vario 1:3.5-5.6/14-42mm (Kit lens at 14mm)
35mm focal length: 30mm
Metering mode: Pattern
Exposure Time 40 seconds

Taken overlooking marina on the Eastern Shore of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay.

- Wesley Bunton


I live in Avalon Park, a community on the East Side of Orlando, FL. My quarterly property owner's association fees are ridiculously expensive...over $2,000 per year. Some of the many things those fees pay for are a variety of celebrations throughout the year, one of which is a great fireworks display of the 4th of July. I scoped out my position about 2 hours before the show started, set up my tripod, and waited. About an hour before the show was scheduled to start, a couple of workers used ropes to place the fireworks barge in the middle of the lake. Promptly at 9 PM, the sky lit up with sound and light, creating this great reflection on the lake. This was my first time shooting fireworks and had a great time.

Camera : Sony NEX-3
Lens : Kit Lens 18-55mm SEL1855
ISO : 200
Focal Length : 21mm
Aperture : f/10
Shutter Speed : 4s

- Mark McKinnon


My wife just upgraded me from a D200 to D7000 and naturally I was excited about testing out the lowlight capabilities of the new camera, and what better way to do that then to shoot fireworks without a tripod. Live view was indispensable when composing a shot held way up over my head to get a clear view. I used the fixed Nikon 35mm f1.8 lens at f1.8, 1/60th of a second and ISO of 400. This file is the .jpg right out of the camera with some minor tweaking in Lightroom. I did get better fireworks shots but I really liked the colors reflecting in the water and the little girl with pigtails on her dad's shoulders. I felt it conveyed the essence of the fourth the best. A tiny bit if the Manhattan skyline doesn't hurt either. This shot of the Macy's fireworks over the Hudson River was taken from Hoboken.

- Adam Kopelman


Watching the fireworks display in our nations capital is a great feeling and this year I felt like I had the best view in the city. My good friend owns a 6 story townhouse right behind on the the memorial and each year they have a big party where everyone can come and hangout on top of their building without the crowds. I shot this with my Canon T3i, at F-4, with an exposure of 1/3 and a ISO of 200.

- Tracy Miller


We had our fireworks show here at Anthem, Arizona, on the night of July 3rd. I didn't know it was going to be a full moon that night. It was cloudy pretty much the whole day but the moon made an appearance just as the fireworks was about to start! I used my Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens on a Manfrotto tripod and used a wired shutter release. My settings were f/9, ISO 100, and exposure was 8 seconds.

- Roman Trugillo


This photo was taken on June 30, 2012. This photo was shot from a parking garage overlooking the minor league baseball stadium in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The team's fireworks promotion for Saturday night games is popular, but it was about 105 degrees that night, which resulted in somewhat low attendance. The photo was taken with a Cannon PowerShot S100 using a tripod, the "fireworks" "special scene" mode, and a 2 second self-timer delay.

- William Codell


I shot this while at a party a friend was throwing. My friend lives a few blocks from the Missouri State Capitol building and there is a great view directly down her street. I used my Canon 10D on a tripod with a Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 lens shooting in RAW. Aperture was f/22, exposure 8 seconds, ISO 400.

- Andrew Richmond


I shot this in Duncanville, TX. It's a suburb of Dallas (we're basically a hop, skip, and a jump away).

This was shot on my Canon T3 Rebel, with the packaged in 18-55mm lens. It was shot at 18mm, ISO 100, f/7.1, 10 second exposure. I couldnt even begin to give a name for the tripod I shot this on. It's at least from the 1940s (possibly the 1920s), and belonged to my paternal grandfather. It's a ball headed tripod, very simplistic. The photo was originally shot in the Canon RAW format (CR2), and imported onto my iPad directly from the SD card. I then proceeded to use the Photoscape 2 app to clean it up slightly. I enhanced the colors in the photo, and cropped out some background noise at the very bottom of the photo, some unwanted lights.

The fireworks show takes place at the Duncanville high school, though no one is allowed on school property itself. Most people sit in grassy areas, parking lots, or even grassy areas used as parking lots, that surround the school area. It can get a bit crazy, some years. I shot this on the sidewalk that borders one of said grassy areas, forced to get close to the road due to children running around and the abundance of large trucks and SUVs going down the road in front of the sidewalk.


For clarity, here's the EXIF info again:
Focal-Length 18mm
ISO 100
Exposure 10 seconds

- Matt Butsch


Equipment: Nikon D5000 with Nikkor 18-55 @ 18mm, remote control shutter release, and a tripod

Settings: ISO: 200, f/14, exposure: 156 seconds

Technique and story behind shot: Long after most of the fireworks ended in Port Richey, Florida, I decided to place my camera outside in the backyard and do some long exposures, just to test it out (and to give into the pressure of having holiday photos). This photo is probably a conglomeration of a few separate fireworks my neighbors lit off over the roughly 2 1/2 minute exposure. It was the first time I used the remote control for my camera and I liked it!


- Heather Short

Shot this with a Nikon D3100 with a Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 mm lens.
A while back, the shooting challenge was zooming with the shutter open. I really wanted to try it but I didn't own a DSLR at that point.
So one of the first things I tried was exactly that.
A mixture of luck, zooming, the right colors and voila! I'm about to make a hyperjump with arrows telling me where to go and where not to go.
Shutter speed: 0.6 seconds
F-stop: f/5.6
ISO: 110


- Kshitij Delvadiya

I used my Sony DSC-TX20 and delayed the shutter to capture the fireworks. This is my favorite because of the mini explosions it captured.


- Trina Taitano