Independence Day Fireworks in Suisun

Independence Day Fireworks in Suisun

I had went down to the waterfront several days before Independence Day to scout locations and compositions. I wanted something iconically Suisun and that meant the Lighthouse. I also wanted a location that was easy to get in and out of by foot considering the crowds and lack of parking.

The fireworks were scheduled to start at 9:15PM so I went out a couple of evenings earlier and tested my exposures and composition. The only thing I couldn't test for were the fireworks themselves. So I started with a small aperture of f/20 and ISO 160 on my GX1. I set the camera into manual focus and manual exposure with bulb mode on. In camera Long Exposure Noise Reduction (LENR or dark frame subtraction) was turned off. I hooked up my remote release and began testing. 

25mm, f/20, ISO 160, 20 seconds in bulb. 

As you can see, the composition is something I've grown fond of. The exposure looked good, but 20 seconds might have been too long. I really like the small aperture, it gives lights a starry effect. With my first shot on Fourth of July, I think I lucked out. 

Bombs Bursting In Air

Fireworks displays truly bring to life the words of "Star Spangled Banner" 14mm, f/22, ISO 160, 3.0s

After that I hardly made changes to my camera setup, except for changes in the wind which had me panning to the right as the wind carried the fireworks over land. Which set some bushes on fire near the lighthouse. I didn't really look at the camera except for a few glances down. I mostly watched the display and triggered according to the launch and burst of fireworks. Most of my exposures were around 4-9 seconds.

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