Every year Cedar Point in my hometown of Sandusky, OH has been shooting off fireworks for the 4th of July. You can get great views of them without even being at the park. I found a nice spot across the Sandusky Bay, but wasn't sure exactly what type of shot I wanted. Luckily I was able to get the water, the park, and a great explosion all in one. I debated on turning in the Black & White Version, but thought the color was more festive. The technical stuff: Canon EOS Rebel T3, 75 - 300 mm lens, ISO 100, f/4, 2.0s.

- Brian Cassidy


I had no intentions to watch the fireworks along the Hudson on the 4th since I didn't feel like waiting hours without access to a bathroom. As I was scrolling through Facebook, my room suddenly lit up and I heard a loud bang coming from outside my window. I realized the block behind mine were setting off huge fireworks and rushed to grab my camera. I looked through my shots and found it interesting that the fireworks looked as if they came out of the chimney of a house behind mine.
Nikon D7000, 28mm at f/7.1, 13 second exposure, ISO 100.

- Pavaris Ketavanan


I was at the Shoreline Amphitheater for the 4th of July. The fireworks
were coupled with a Symphony show. I didn't have my tripod on me, and
capturing fireworks on camera, I realized, was a lot harder than I
thought. I do like this one. It looks like a chemistry experiment. The
only adjustments I made post-processing was to adjust the curve levels
to illuminate the people a bit more. Taken on my Nikon D40, ISO at
800, 1/13s, f4.5.

- Stacy Repin


iPhone 4S ~ CAUTION: Spins On Ground Emits Flames And Sparks And Unicorn Farts ...

- Dave Kooi


I hadn't planned on shooting this July 4th so I was totally underprepared when the inevitable mood struck. No tripod, cable release, nothing. All I had was my camera. The only stable surface i could find that wasn't overrun with festival goers was an old wood pylon down at the water's edge. I used a few small scraps of the deteriorating post to level the camera and was all set. I think I got a much more unique vantage point and better shots than I ever would have gotten had I spent time planning every (any) detail.
Canon 30d, 17-40L @29mm, Custom white balance, ISO 100, f/5.6, 15s exposure.

- Josh Linn


Fireworks and photo shot in my parent's backyard - gotta love living in the sticks! :) 5 second exposure time w/ tripod, manual focus, all other settings on auto, Canon Xsi. This was the "Black Thunder" firework we saved for the finale; I love the way all the light trails mix together and with the blackspace...

- Josh McKean


This image is taken on a Nikon D300, 18mm, f/ 3.5 and a 2 second exposure.

I missed fireworks this year, but couldn't miss the opportunity to capture this picture of these "fireworks" while working on a construction project this weekend!

- Brittany Laeger


Shot taken with: Canon Rebel T2i, standard EF-S 18-55mm IS lens
ISO 320
2.5 second shutter speed
Auto White Balance

This was actually the very first shot of the night on Independence day. My 8.5 month pregnant wife lit a sparkler and held it down to her side as she was watching someone lighting fireworks across the street. I only took the shot to test the focus and lighting but it came out with that really cool looking glow off of her belly and I couldn't reproduce that again through the night.

- Ian Reeder


This was taken July 4th in New Albany, Ohio with my Nikon D3200 with the following settings: f/11, 2.5 sec Exposure, ISO-100, 3.5 Apeture.

This was my second time shooting fireworks the first time being the night before at Red, White, and Boom in Downtown Columbus, OH. I didnt even realize I got this shot until after I got home and started going through my 150+ shots. I am just getting into photography and this is the first time I have submitted anything for public judging.

- John Flores


I've devoted myself entirely to photography over the past 2 years and have learned a lot about composition and exposure. This picture is one of my favorites that I've ever taken. Originally I said that I probably won't take anything spectacular but proved myself wrong. I was with a group of friends, sneaking behind them , taking pictures of fireworks in front of them. I shot this picture handheld with my Canon EOS 60D and my Tamron 17-50 f/ 2.8 VC.
ISO5000, 22mm, f/ 2.8, 1/25 sec.

- Adam Thompson


Shot with Canon T3i, 18-135 lens, 1/60 sec, F/5.6, ISO 3200, focal length 135.

The first sparkler of the evening, after a huge monsoon storm doused Tucson.

- Chris Wiegand


I shot this in Washington DC, along the Tidal Basin, at the new Martin Luther King Memorial. Went to DC to get a good spot near the Washington Monument on the National Mall, but got there too late and our path to that area was closed off. Luckily this area around the MLK Monument was quite empty except for a few National Park Service and Press photographers. It was a great view to see them up that close.

Camera: Nikon D300
Exposure: 2 sec
Aperture: f/22.0
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Focal Length: 17 mm
Focal Length (35mm format): 25 mm
Lens Info: Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8
Date and Time: 2012:07:04 21:13:09
Exposure Mode: Manual

- Jeff Gamble


Safety First: Pretty standard Fourth of July backyard BBQ. Cold beers, hot meats, and bottle rockets. My friend was afraid the sparks from the rockets would burn so she threw on a dish glove and a surgical mask and let them fly. Taken with my Samsung Galaxy SII. Some slight post processing done in GIMP.

- Ryan Moynihan


Shot using a Canon 60D with a 55-250mm lens with ISO 100.
This was the first time I have submitted an entry and this was taken during the finally at my local July 4th rally in Houston (near NASA Control center). It was surprisingly windy that night, so I had to use my heavy tripod. I forgot to bring my remote shutter, so I had to keep a steady hand and hope that the shots would not come out blurry.

- Gary Hsu


Title: Magic
Canon T3i
Lens: Kit 18-55mm (Shot at 40mm)
Exposure: 13 Seconds
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/13
Shot at: 41mm

The local high school hosts the fireworks show every year for my small town in New Jersey. I have never photographed fireworks before, as I bought my camera this past October. After seeing the shooting challenge post on July 3rd, I eagerly waited for the next day to capture an image I really wanted to share. I call this image "Magic" for the feather-like rays and the falling glitter.

- Mark Frazier


Camera - Canon EOS Rebel T2i
Lens - 18-55mm f/5.7-36
Exp Time - 8 Sec
Aperture 5
ISO 100
Picasa used for post editing and crop
Shot in Lincoln Ca

Story -

So I took my family to a parking lot near the park. The park is always packed and we don't want to have to save a seat at 3 in the afternoon. With my daughter and her friends sitting in the truck bed, I had my T2i tripoded and tethered to my Acer Iconia. I use an app called Helicon to shoot long exposure photos on my Acer tablet to avoid button shake. I set the app to shoot the camera continuously in 8 second exposures. This was one of the first few shots I snagged and was still adjusting the focus. What you see here is me trying to find my focus and accidentally creating a really cool effect.


My favorite fireworks shot I have ever done.

- Chris Allen


body: Canon t3i
lense: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II (kit lense)

This pic:
iso 200
5 second exposure
49mm focal length

Went up to Silver Lake, MI for fourth of July. Friends of ours have a cabin (well, actually their parents do) with private shared access to the lake. During the 95'ish degree day filled with swimming, boating, eating steak and drinking beer (America, F*CK YA!) I luckily thought to bring along my camera and try my hand at fireworks photography. This being my first time, I learned that the trickiest part is the shutter speed: longer = fireworks colors are lost but background/foreground has good lighting; shorter = fireworks colors show beautifully but at the risk of less lighting for fore/background. All-in-all, they came out okay with this pic having the best composition and lighting balance. I also found the "grand finale" to be next to impossible to get the lighting right. All 6 or 7 pics I took didn't make the cut.


- John Royston

This was the result of a picture being shot on a crowded street corner in Seattle looking down to a barge from which the fireworks were being launched from. Midway through the exposure I was bumped by another eager "photographer" trying to take pictures of the display wither her iPad. By the time I got the camera the right way up again the exposure was done and this was the result. Turned out to be my favorite shot of the night.


Camera: Cannon Rebel EOS XS
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
ISO: 100
Exposure Time: 20"

- Tyler Carrington


I am a Navy photojournalist. This image was taken at 8:55 on the flight deck of the USS Boxer in San Diego with a Fuji x100 at 1/8 shutter at F2, 2500 ISO. This is the now famous show that blew the entire wad all at once, which I believe I captured.

- Brian Biller


I Took this at the Fireworks show in DC on the 4th. I had a prime spot with the Washington Monument being silhouetted in front of the fireworks. This shot is special, because the Washington Monument looks quite angry, giving it a different look from what I was expecting.
I used my old Samsung L210 point and shoot, and set the F-stop to 5.2 and the speed to 1/45. You really can get a decent shot with anything.

- Stephen Bank


A friend of mine brought me to a great place to watch the fireworks at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. I had my Canon 60D on a tripod and a 24-105 lens at 40mm, f/10, ISO 100. I had the camera set to Bulb and used a shutter release using various times, depending on when they shot the fireworks and how much I was paying attention. I took some of the shots, adjusted levels to give a nice black background, and combined a few of them in photoshop using the Screen blend mode.

- Joe Russo


I wanted to participate in this contest because I love fireworks and America, just as much as I love a good photo. So at my towns 4th of July display I searched out a decent spot, plopped my tripod down and pointed my camera to the sky. I had a good idea of where to start thanks to the guide and went from there. This definitely isn't best photo of fireworks ever, or the most original, but it was my favorite of the ones I took!
Camera Shoot settings
Canon T3
18-55 Kit Lens, Manual Focus, IS On
ISO 100
4 Sec Shutter Speed

- Maurice Chester


santa cruz is supposed to be a fireworks-free (as well as a nuclear-free) zone and they've really worked at shutting down the locations where folks would gather to shoot off their own fireworks. so I decided I'd just head down to the boardwalk at night and take some long exposures and send them in and say "hey, this is as close as I could get."

turns out that there was A LOT of fireworks being lit off all around me at main beach, some further down by the harbor and some further up near the dream inn. while I was taking a 5sec exposure of some of the rides on the boardwalk, one of the shells happened to explode in the right direction. only one all night....

exif data:
Taken on: July 4, 2012 at 9.00pm PDT
Camera: Nikon D3000
Exposure: 5sec
Aperture: f/25.0
Focal Length: 38 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: No Flash


- Bob Zimway

We sat down and pointed ourselves in the same direction as everyone around us. Turned out we were all off by about 10 degrees, so I had to rotate and bring the tree into the frame. No problem, as I think it adds a little visual interest to the photo. The show came fast and furious, and this was one of the few that allowed for both a long exposure of the "trail", without the remnants of the prior blast in the shot. Nikon D3100, kit lens, f/6.3, ISO 200, 7.5 second exposure, 34mm focal length, 51 effective.


- Matthew Bertolatus

I was down in Hoboken to watch the Macy's Fireworks show for the first time in my life. The show was awesome but I didn't take many good photos. This shot was taken towards the final three or four minutes of the show. Everything just started going off rapidly and there came a point where strips of red, white, and blue reflected off the Hudson. I kind of liked it, so here is my submission. - Thiago Fernandes


P.S. Canon 600D w/18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, 1/30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800. Edited in Lightroom 4.

- Thiago Fernandes