Kieu-Hanh Vu  

4th of July Fireworks  by Kieu-Hanh Vu

August 2019 - 4th of July Fireworks

About the Image(s)

This image was taken in Washington DC. This year, the fireworks are so beautiful and we are lucky that the rain stopped about an hour before the show.
Exif data: Canon 7D Mark II, 24-70mm lens, ISO: 100, F/16, Speed: 6.2 seconds

This round’s discussion is now closed!
13 comments posted

Beautiufl firweworks display with great reflections. The timing is well handled to show off the bursts and their light trails, without blowing out the highlights. I find the boats in the water add interest.   Posted: 08/04/2019 11:54:49

Beverly Caine   Beverly Caine
(Groups 48 & 80)
Visiting from 48 & 80
Wish I could get even half as good at shooting fireworks. Beautiful image.   Posted: 08/04/2019 21:11:26

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Group 67)
This is nicely done. It is one of the best fireworks displays I have seen in quite a while.

Did you do any adjusting to get those singular colors?   Posted: 08/05/2019 11:34:05
Kieu-Hanh Vu   Kieu-Hanh Vu
Thanks everyone for visiting our group 3 and providing your comments to my image.

To Larry: Those colors are natural bursts. My camera is set to Bulb mode on tripod, and I used the shutter release to control my timing. For this image, I covered the front of my lens with a piece of black cardboard at the end of one fireworks burst and took it away at the beginning of the next burst to create my image with both bursts in the same frame. I also intended to incorporate the Lincoln memorial and the Washington monument into my image but the fireworks bursts are so intense this year that covered all those DC landmarks.

  Posted: 08/08/2019 00:10:28

Ruth Sprain   Ruth Sprain
I love all the fireworks and overlapping bursts. To me, the colorful reflections with the boats make your image especially striking. I think the right side is especially successful with the full fireworks bursts fitting in the frame. The black lines in the bottom right corner could easily be cloned out if you desired.   Posted: 08/13/2019 14:20:40

Randolph Shine   Randolph Shine
It is one of the best firework photos I have seen.Thank you for sharing your technique. I will have to try it next 4th of July.   Posted: 08/17/2019 14:07:53

Jerry Funk   Jerry Funk
(Groups 20 & 64)
This wonderful image presents you with infinite opportunities to use elements as replacement backgrounds for other images, e.g. the many D.C. memorials.   Posted: 08/21/2019 08:35:37

Lisa Cirincione   Lisa Cirincione
Great fireworks image! I'll have to try the cardboard trick. I've read about it before and you did a great job. Did you have problems with the smoke?   Posted: 08/25/2019 16:02:34
Kieu-Hanh Vu   Kieu-Hanh Vu
Thanks, Lisa for your comments.
Yes, the smoke is a big problem for fireworks if it rains before the show because the smoke from the previous firework bursts cannot go away quickly with the damp atmosphere in the air. I had to cut short my long exposure to avoid the smoke (I used to set long exposure around 12 seconds), and also the fireworks are more intense this year than previous years which help hiding the smoke. I just try and experiment the shooting because it totally depends on the fireworks show to control the long exposure setting of my camera.   Posted: 08/30/2019 20:04:35

Nancie Clark   Nancie Clark
(Group 71)
Gorgeous image! I love all the layers of different lights. 6.2 seconds seems like a really good length of time to catch so much. I'll have to try it.   Posted: 08/27/2019 18:18:13

Jim Kuchler   Jim Kuchler
Kieu Hanh You always take full advantage of the opportunities in DC. I am sooooo jealous... :-) Exposure, focus, aperture setting, white balance, ISO and shutter speed all came together well. Your composition is great. Not only do you get great reflection of color in the water, you capture the experience of the boaters. Really nice. The only feedback I might have is the fireworks on the left side of the frame are slightly crowded. I realized with a display like this you can't predict the best composition in advance. Would there have been a way to exclude the two smaller, lower bursts on the right edge of the frame and allow for more space on the left side of the frame??   Posted: 08/29/2019 20:27:16
Kieu-Hanh Vu   Kieu-Hanh Vu
Thanks everyone for your comments.
The fireworks usually last only 15-20 minutes, and the camera setting needs to be ready in advance before the sun gets too dark. In addition, I cannot move my camera because there is a big crowd around our group. For the past few years, I used the bridge on the right side to lead the viewers to the Lincoln memorial and the Washington monument in the middle of the image because the fireworks would be displayed above the Washington monument. (Please visit my image in July 2018 to see the difference). For this year, there are some changes about the fireworks show, I was just lucky to get a good image, especially after a rain.
I could crop tighter to eliminate two small bursts on the right but I think it could make the bridge shorter.
  Posted: 08/30/2019 19:44:09

Mary Sue Rosenthal   Mary Sue Rosenthal
I love fireworks and you did a great job capturing these. love the neutral coloring that helps emphasize the composition over colors. I have not tried your technique but may next time.   Posted: 08/31/2019 08:48:54