Body: Canon t2i
Lens:Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II
ISO: 100
Aperture: f7.1
Exposure: 4 seconds
Focal Range: 55mm

My wife and I heard that the Iwo Jima Memorial was a good place to view the D.C. fireworks without having to travel into the city and fight the crowds so we found a nice spot behind the memorial with the Washington Monument and Capital in the background. It was a great spot to watch the fireworks and I took a ton of pictures but this was my favorite shot of the night.


- Brent Bradley

I captured this shot at the Woodstock, IL fireworks show at Emericson Park on July 4th, 2012 at 9:42PM. I took almost a hundred pictures of many individual and grouped fireworks in the sky but none of them stood out like this one. I choose this shot because it the trees, fireworks, mortars, colored smoke, the orange moon, and the starry night sky to really capture a night watching fireworks. Shot in RAW on a Sony SLT-A37 f/3.5 ISO 200 18mm focal length in a 6 second exposure.


- Jacob Freeman

Camera: Canon Rebel Xsi
Lens: Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-23
ISO: 100
Fstop: 4.0
Exposure Time: 0.6"


Location: Hoboken, NJ

My wife and I live in Hoboken, and once again the Macy's 4th of July fireworks were set off on the Hudson (Sorry Bklyn). Since my building has a roofdeck, this presented an incredible opportunity for some fantastic shots of the fireworks and midtown Manhattan. Although initially upset about the foreground lighting from the High School tennis courts, it added what I felt was some spectacular depth to the shot.

- Jim Van Schoick


Nikon D90
18-105mm lens

ISO 200

Tripod and cable release

I took this last night on my girlfriend's roof deck in Boston, Massachusetts. We are in a neat spot where there were to be fire works going off literally in every direction so I set up expecting to have a decent chance at getting something good. Instead nature decided to put on a fireworks show of her own and I ended up being more interested in her show. I liked this shot because I was able to get some of the Charlestown fireworks over the Bunker Hill monument which is just out of frame at the same time as some of God's own brand along with some fellow roof deck party goers. All-in-all, it was a fun night to be out shooting.


- Ben Pugliares

We are cabin/camping on the Saginaw Bay and I was shooting a distant city across the water. Next thing I know the neighbor started booming a few shots in to the sky, so I just simply turned the tripod 90*, with my chocolaty s'more filled hands, and snapped this beauty. Right place right time moment. Shot whit a Cannon Rebel XSI 18-55mm, 30 sec exposure, ISO 400, f/13.


- Bryce Corrion

For this 4th of July I went with some friends to a beach house on St. George Island. The island had its own fireworks display but it seemed that everyone else who visited also had their own fireworks ready to go. This image while lacking an actual firework burst has multiple people shooting off their home purchased mortared fireworks into the moonlight. I was lucky to get this shot (handheld BTW) as a firework to the right of me burst giving the ground an eerie red and purple glow but it skill kept the sky and moon a dark blue and orange. It was a full moon and the moon was an orange glow breaking through the clouds.


Taken on my Nikon D90 while at 42 focal length. ISO at 400 and exposure time set at 4 sec.

- Francis Armetta


Attached is my fireworks photo submission. Pic specs: taken during City of Austin, Texas fireworks show, Canon t3i, Tamron 18-270mm lens, 18mm focal length, iso 100, f/10, bulb trigger exposed for 6 seconds.

My family missed out on fireworks last year in Texas (all cancelled due to drought conditions). But, this year they were back. I took out the camera, my wife and the kids and we all had a great time enjoying the fireworks.

- David Buono


Up on my roofdeck in Boston.

- Pat Henderson


I was invited to a friends for bbq and a fireworks show this evening, so I grabbed my camera gear and headed out! Over the course of 3 hours, over $600 worth of mortars and fireworks were set off between 3 households.

I used my Canon 40D along with my Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM lens as well as my Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens to capture the show, and ended up shooting almost 400 photos over the course of the evening. I mounted the camera on a super-heavy-duty 38-year-old Vivitar tripod that is as crazy heavy, but it does exactly what it should, and that's to stabilize the camera for lengthy exposures!

This particular image, "Faery Fire", was shot with the 28-135mm lens, set to 28mm. Exposure was set at 1 second, with an aperture of f/10 and an ISO of 100. When I saw this image for the first time, the first thing that came to mind was a faery made of fire, and it seemed appropriate!


- Stephen Nesbit

The only story here is of a young happy couple enjoying the 4th of July celebration on their rooftop in San Francisco, CA.


- Hector Machuca

So I have always seen the shooting challenge and always kicked myself for not jumping in. It just so happened that I was driving with my buddy looking for a show and we happened upon a fireworks show down the street. Luckily I had all my gear in the back of the car, pulled over by a gas station and setup shop on the corner of the street. This was my favorite shot of a burst because it looks like jellyfish made of light swimming in sync. Nikon D5100 w/ Nikkor 55-200mm @ 110mm, f/14 @ 2.5 sec ISO 100


- Andy Azadnia

Shot with a Canon T1i and Canon 35mm f/1.4L. ISO 100, f/8.0, 3", bulb exposure. Very limited post processing, just a little contrast boost.


Taken at the fireworks show put on by the Austin Symphony at Auditorium Shores at Town Lake Metropolitan Park. Before the fireworks show was a free concert including many patriotic hits ending with a finale of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. The fireworks show looked great over Lady Bird Lake.

- Andrew Goolsbee


Canon Rebel T2i, EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, exposure time 1"3, f/7.1, ISO 100.
Playing with the zoom while taking photos during our local display. I zoomed in and out during the exposure, and i like the look it gave it.

- Cassidy Wales


Every year, our good friends have dozens of people over for July 4, and we gather, eat, relax, etc. At sunset, the city of Nashua, NH has a fireworks display that is launched (roughly) 50 yards from the edge of our friends' property. So we pull up our lawn chairs, lean back and look straight up at the fireworks. This is my second year shooting the fireworks with a DSLR.

This shot was taken on July 4, 2012, at 9:03 pm, with a Canon T2i and kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm) on a tripod. The settings were:
— Focal length: 27 mm
— Manual mode
— Aperture: f/11
— Shutter: 3.2 sec.
— ISO: 100
— Focus: manual (image stabilization off)
— White balance: daylight

- Mark Maris


Canon 7D
Manfrotto tripod head
Sigma 10-20 Rectilinear Wide Angle
ISO 400 to ISO 100
F8 through F11
2.5 second to 8 second exposures.
GPS coordinates: 36.147433,-97.061613
Images taken in RAW, post processed in Lightroom, compositing done in GIMP.

Photo is a composite of several shots I took at the Stillwater Oklahoma fireworks show (at the appropriately named "boomer" lake). I put on my red white and blue, picked up some super sized fast food on the way, sat in my Oklahoma State bag chair in the weeds at the edge of the lake to capture this series of photos, then sat in traffic forever trying to get home. If that's not 'MERICA then i don't know what is!

- Thomas Hays


I took this shot with my Sony NEX-3 and the kit zoom lens with an ISO of 200, focal length of 55 mm, aperture of f/5.6, and a shutter speed of 3.2 seconds.
This firework is from the Delano, MN fireworks show. Delano has the largest and oldest 4th of July parade in Minnesota, and their fireworks show is equally superb. Instead of braving the bugs and crowds at the launch location in a field nearby, I pulled myself on to a low roof of a local school and was able to get this shot with the silhouetted trees. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

- Andrew Alness


Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6
Exposure: 3.2 sec
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/13
Focal Length: 30mm
Location St. Louis Park, MN

This was my first foray into Bulb mode on my camera. I used a wireless shutter release to open the shutter while nothing was going on in the sky, and then close the shutter when I thought I'd captured the perfect shot. All the while trying to fend off the swarm of mosquitoes attempting to suck my life blood from me. Of the 90-some shots I took, the vibrant colors and isolated flower shape of this one spoke to me the most.

- Alex Arbit


This was a visually stunning night, with a blood red moon earlier in the evening and 3 fireworks shows going on around us (you can see one closer to the horizon). Taken on North Lake, WI on my favorite holiday of the year with my iPhone 4.

- Matt Rauh


I was out on Fourth of July with my family, in our front yard. We were
all having a good time and someone pulled out the Black Cat Roman
Candles we had bought. My brother lit the fuse and shot away, and I
was lucky enough to capture this! Hope you enjoy, and I hope y'alls
4th's were just as great as mine!


Canon Powershot SX30IS Digital Camera
Dynex 60" Tripod - Extended to about 54"
Adobe Photoshop CS6



4.3-150.5mm (Taken at 4.3mm)
15" Exposure
ISO 80

The Technique:

I basically had my camera set up on the tripod, and as soon as the
fuse burned out I pressed the shutter. At about halfway through the
time, I tilted the tripod head up slightly, giving it a nice distorted


The Editing:

For the editing, I used HDR Toning in CS6... I also played around with
the Curves adjustment layer. It was compiled into one layer and saved.

- Bryan Sak


Equipment: Nikon D7000, AF-S DX VR Zoom Nikkor 18-105 mm Lens (kit lents)
Settings: ISO- 2000, 62 mm, f/5.6

I know that the picture used for the announcement of the challenge was going to be hard to top or compete with. I tried getting some shots of all our boys sitting behind the blast of lights, but because of our location and lighting... I threw out several ideas and went this direction. I didn't just want conventional shots of fireworks, I wanted something different. So, I captured this "Dandelion" looking shot while changing ISO, shutter speeds, and white balances. I turned off auto focus and started catching these beautiful colors and shots. Not to mention we just upgraded our D-40 to a D-7000 two weeks ago, and I still haven't got a clue what I'm doing.

- JJ Blevins


I took this with my Canon T3i with 28-135 IS USM lens. the Exposure was 30 seconds and the aperture was 11 with my ISO set at 100. I had taken this shot during the finale when they were shooting all of the good stuff off. this was my last shot before I had to pack up and catch up with my ride home. here I had the lens zoomed in for 15 seconds and zoomed out for the other 15. I didn't even get to check all of what I shot until I got home. I've done no editing or anything, just straight from the camera and resized in photoshop.

- Adam Robinson


My friend called at the last minute and said we should come out to watch the fireworks. I thought it would be a good time to figure out how to use the new camera. I shot this with a SONY DSC-HX200Vthat was purchased a week ago. No tripod, Just help the camera on the side of a building for stability. Traffic cooperation was nice too.

Not too shabby considering it my first time trying anything like it.

- Todd Lundgren


Canon EOS Rebel T2i
Canon EF-S 18-55 mm
iso 100
8 Second exposure

Every year we head out to our dock to shoot off fireworks and watch the neighbors shoot ours. I was trying to get the right balance of light in the firework while also being able to see the water.

- Nick Bristow


Oh boy, got home to discover the local fireworks were not only visible from the backyard of my new place, but they were also in the fanale. So I grabbed my camera and tripod, aimed, and fired. Only problem was it was on a 30 second exposure, and I didn't think to check the settings first. Long story short, although it's not what I was hoping for, it did come out pretty cool.

- Paul Valerio


This was actually shot with my iPhone, not my usual camera for taking pictures but it was the best I could do at the time.
This photo was taken at the Uncle Sam Jam in New Orleans, LA.

- Adam Dyer


Taken with a Canon 5D Mark III w/ 16-35mm II lens @ 16mm, ISO 100, f/7.1, 20 second exposure. No edits, slightly cropped.
I was just going to go watch Charleston, West Virginia's July 4th fireworks show, but when I saw lightning dancing across the sky, I ran for my camera in hopes of catching a once-in-a-lifetime shot. I had planned on watching from the rooftop of a building with a view of the city, but the fireworks had already started when I ran outside, so the bank of the Kanawha River was the quicker (and safer) option. I set up a small tripod positioned on the tip of a rock. There was so much lightning, most people were watching the lightning more than the fireworks! I got some help from some illegal fireworks (at the right) to make this shot a perfect combination of man and nature's firework shows.

- Marcus Constantino


ISO 500
30 second exposure

This was actually location #2. I originally had a great spot on top of a railroad track bridge. I had my kids with me and we would have had a great time watching the fireworks from up on the bridge. The bridge however, crossed over a busy road. Like an hour before the show was gonna start some kids who were probably right out of high school showed up and started walking back and forth along the bridge. Of coarse the the cops saw them acting like turds, which then gave our position away. Anyway, we made the most of it and found the location right along the busy road...but along the bank of the river. It made for a good memory though, I deploy to Afghanistan in like a week' I'm glad I got to have an eventful last holiday with my kids before I set off.

By the way, thanks for all your guys hard work. This website is one of the things I really look forward to enjoying after a long day of work while deployed! This is the first time I've ever submitted to a shooting challenge. However, I LOVE following all of them.


- Thomas Ashcraft

Camera: Nikon D40
ISO: 200
F: f/16
Lens: AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 10-105
Exposure: 10 Seconds


Story: For this I really wanted to try my hand at night shooting, and the contest gave me a great reason to try. I have not been very successful up until last night at being able to capture really nice night shots. I also wanted to add an element of nature with shooting through the trees, and turns out my back yard proved to be a perfect spot for it! I think this shot turned out great with the bloom of the fireworks.

- Josh Spisak


I took this photo on a lake in Alabama. It was hard to create a sharp image with the boats in the foreground because my boat was moving and the other boats were moving. I took a lot but this is one of my faves.

Nikon D4
ISO 10,000
f 2.8

- John Simpson