Long Exposure Fireworks

One of the best things about small town life happens every Fourth of July. Where larger cities have bigger fireworks budgets and can even do shows coordinated to music à la Disney, small town fireworks offer the ability to stand practically right underneath the explosions. This means a great view and the unique experience of firework debris landing in your hair. And an opportunity for photography.

This year, myself, my boyfriend Kevin, and a few good friends watched the show at my boyfriend’s dad’s bar and restaurant, which was hosting a parking lot party. Their lot had a direct view of the fireworks, and gave us a great chance to play around with Kevin’s Canon Rebel T3i and try some long exposure photography. All of the shots are unedited, aside from the addition of the border. (click for larger versions)

Testing out our techniques on our drinks - and got a neat ghost bottle effect!

Testing out our techniques on our drinks. Ghost bottles! We achieved this by using a 25 second exposure, and removing the bottles one at a time.

What I love about long exposure photography is how well lit the photos are, even with no flash. I’m definitely not a pro (and we forgot a tripod, hence the slightly off center appearance), but we had a lot of fun experimenting!

The fireworks begin!

The show begins!

Fireworks Two

A quick break in the show thanks to a brush fire.

A quick break in the show thanks to a brush fire.

Fireworks Three

Afterwards, Kevin and I set off some little fireworks of our own in his driveway and tried some shots with those as well.

Small fireworks in the driveway

Thankfully, his feet actually aren’t on fire. 😉

Chicken shaped firework.


The finale of our show.

Our finale.

I’m eager to get out with the camera and try some more long exposure subjects. Since taking a digital photography class this past spring and getting a handle on the basics of the technique, I’ve become really interested in what I can do with it. There should be more photo posts on my experiments to come!

5 thoughts on “Long Exposure Fireworks

  1. Plaguepit says:

    Fantastic photos. Isn’t it amazing how simple combinations of imflammable chemicals can produce such beauty? Here in England we wait until Guy Fawkes’ night, but the effect is the same and indeed no, there can never be too many fireworks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wsforchrist says:

    Nice photos. Thank you for sharing. Looked like a wonderful 4th. Here in Milwaukee we have it both ways. There is a huge fireworks display downtown at the lakefront on the 3rd. Then all the smaller parks around the city have a nice display on the 4th. Wish I had your camera know-how!



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