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Firework Photography

My Check List

1. Canon 80D w/ battery grip

3. Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head w/quick release plate

4. 32gb SD cards

6. Canon 18-135mm lens

8. remote/smart phone with remote app

Note: chair, family, blankets, coffee/hot chocolate in thermos ;)


My objective was to (1 ) test out new equipment to push myself with long exposure photography, and (2) capture an event that is a community 4th of July happening every year.

What Have I learned?

Patience...lots of patience.

Even though the fireworks lasted for about 10-15 minutes, I only captured what I would consider a good solid 10 shots in that amount of time. (2 of my favorites posted below)

Remember that even though fireworks happen fast you need to be sure your shutter speed is slow. At times my shutter was open for 8 seconds, sometimes longer! My aperture was set at 10 or above to capture depth and definition to the assent of the fireworks.

A key factor in capture such clear movement was the remote app on my phone. I use the Canon Camera Connect. A free app that allows you, with WiFi, to connect to your camera with a secure password and download photos to share on social media immediately, or shoot with a remote. This helps to keep movement away from your set camera on the tripod to insure a solid long exposure picture.


I learned a lot about timing. As a photographer you have to anticipate where the action is coming from and act with a response that is in time with the motion or movement. The shutter needed to be open as the firework started its assent not when it exploded in order to capture vibrant color, its path, and also to ground the photo with other movement as you can see in picture 1 that is going on around the event.

In a Nutshell

I am excited to stretch my creativity and skill in this new found setting of night time photography! It pushes creativity and your skill to another level that requires thought, planning, and patience.

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