Fireworks – Common Photo Themes

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In the United States, July 4th is Independence Day, known by many as simply The Fourth of July.  Of all American holidays, it is perhaps the most patriotic.  Of course one element that seems synonymous with the holiday is fireworks; the bigger the better.  You don’t have to be American to have an appreciation for fireworks.  Case and point:  On two of this week’s photographers are American.  But it’s easy to understand the appeal of Fireworks:  They are big, bold, beautiful and powerful.  It’s no wonder that fireworks are a part of photo bucket lists everywhere.  So let’s explore fireworks, this month’s common theme, as seen by…

Caleb Long

Caleb Long captured this photograph, BOOOOM!, as part of his 365 project in 2010.  I love how it looks like the fireworks are painted in bold colors on a black canvas.  There is little or no other discernible details.  This was a 3 second exposure at F/19

Stephen Flores

A much more chaotic approach, Stephen Flores also captured this untitled photo around Independence Day.  And you can tell by the patriotic Red, White and Blue color scheme of pyrotechnics.  The reflection in the water adds some depth and anchors these fireworks with a context of the water and grounds all around.

Kevin Thornhill

Kevin  Thornhill pulls his camera way back – half-way across the city I think – to fit these massive fireworks into the frame.  Interestingly, he has chosen a landscape format despite the main subject clearly suggesting the opposite.  In doing so, Kevin has exposed more of the context of the city, even though it’s only a handful of suggestive lights.  This gives us a basis for comparison, but it also adds a surreal layer.  It’s almost like the fireworks form a bouquet of flowers…it even has a vase.

Peter von Seth

Peter von Seth takes full advantage of longer exposures with his capture of these great fireworks.  You can clearly see the bold trail all the way to the ground, but what really makes the shot for me is the smoke.  You can see the smoke rising from the launch area and you can even see the cloud of smoke around the blooms.  The result is a dreamlike sequence.  Now doesn’t that really capture the mood of a fireworks display?

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About Author

D. Travis North is a professional Landscape Architect, a Freelance Photographer and founder of Shutter Photo. Ever since he picked up his first SLR, his father's Nikon N2000, he's been hooked on photography. Travis likes to photograph urban environments, architectural details and has a new-found interest in close-up photography. His work can be found at D. Travis North Photography. Follow Travis on twitter: @dtnorth.

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