Fireworks: kinda neat and kinda boring

My family was recently up at a cottage in Sauble Beach. In nearby Southampton, there was a fireworks display on Canada Day that we all went to. I’ve shot fireworks in the past with tepid results so I wanted to give it another go because, hey, why not?

Similar to sunsets, I actually don’t find fireworks images really all that special but I do like the ones I took here. There’s something about light streaks on pitch black backgrounds that I’m not a fan of, so getting a bit of the sky in a few of them—namely the first shot seen here—I thought made them better. In this situation, we were sitting fairly close to where they were launched, so a wider lens probably would’ve helped; I used my 24-70, but my 17-40 might’ve worked a bit better for our location, although the more I look at the closer crops, the more I like them. I pre-focused and left the camera on manual so it didn’t start hunting while I randomly hit the remote shutter. I had the aperture set at around ƒ11 so I was able to get most, if not all, of the light show nice and sharp. Exposures were anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds.

I find with shooting fireworks you’re really just guessing most of the time because they’re not all going to explode in the same spot. Some of the larger ones can get cut off and some of the smaller ones can be way off frame or just end up being too small.

For most of the show there was a breeze blowing in which gave the fireworks some interesting patterns, not to mention a few spots where the light streaks seemed like they were getting a bit too close to us spectators. Explosions and mini fireballs being blown towards a watching crowd? Totally safe, I know.

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