Taking fireworks photos

July 4th is a great time to make candid photographs of people because the community is usually preoccupied with enjoying food, the company of friends and relaxation while waiting for the big event – the fireworks. I revel in walking among groups and making photos of odd arrangements, unusual expressions, clothing or activity. In a 25-minute walk I made the photos included here, getting at least 20 persons in each so that there I would not need model releases to display the photos (see your lawyer but I figure a group of 20 is the threshold for requiring model releases).

I made a few photos of couples or individuals but I am not including them here because I do not have a model release for them. I do include a photo of my wife, Judy Ballinger.

Fireworks are photographed by setting the camera on a tripod and setting the camera to f-22 and “bulb†(on the speed dial). I then open the lens and keep it open holding a black card in front of the lens. When a burst of fireworks explodes I quickly pull the card away and just as fast cover the lens again. I do this for 3 or 4 bursts then take my finger off the release button allowing the lens to close. If I do this procedure a dozen or more times, great fireworks pictures are sure to be “in the bag.” You can see more of my fireworks images from years past here.