fourth of july

Fourth of July (Or, "Creating Stock Fireworks Photos")

Nikon D5, 24mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: 11, Shutter: 8

I've never gotten into firework photography before, so the local Fourth of July show last night was the ideal low-key environment to get acquainted with capturing fire in the sky. The evening's weather was the kind a Southern novelist uses all manner of metaphors and adjectives to describe—that is, it was sweat-drippin', fan-swishin', get-me-a-cold-glass-of-sweet-tea hot. 

Once the sun sunk below the horizon and the first explosive pop blazed a trail into the night sky, I promptly forgot about the heat and set my mind on getting an in-focus firework photo. Thankfully, my images were all in-focus, though my review of the take on the camera's touchscreen (!!!) LCD had me tempted to not really bother editing them. They were sharp, and I was ok with that. 

However, curiosity got the best of me this morning, and I found the editing process was just as insightful as shooting. There really aren't rules here, so I had fun with some tighter crops and using the oft-avoided Clarity Tool in Camera Raw. (They really should just call it the Fireworks Tool.) 

For the poor man's stock firework photos, keep scrolling. For better shots based on what I've learned, come back next year.


The night wasn't without a rookie mistake, however—for the finale, I neglected to shorten my exposure time, and there is no amount of RAW file information that can save this catastrophe.

Nikon D5, 24mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: 11, Shutter: WAY TOO LONG

Nikon D5, 24mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: 11, Shutter: WAY TOO LONG