July 6, 2013

How To Shoot Fireworks 4th of July Celebration

360 Degree Panoramic

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Our 4th of July Celebrations

I decided to post this article because it offers photographers some simple hints on getting spectacular fireworks shots and because I was going through a lot of my older image and video files and decided it was a good time to share them with my readers.  You will see our July 4th Celebrations in 2010 and 2011 in this article and hope you will enjoy my images and tips with you.

July 4th 2010 – Spectacular Fireworks

Each year there are many 4th of July Celebrations in America and New Jersey has its share as well. Each town puts on their displays, some more memorable then others, but from where we live, we can go down to the waters edge in Keyport and watch displays from Brooklyn, New York and many of the beach towns in our area, all from our vantage point in Keyport.

I normally try to get into New York to cover the Macy’s 4th of July Celebration, but we were invited by a friend to join them for a dinner and the best fireworks display sitting on the lawn of a thirty million dollar mansion on the banks of the Navasink River in Red Bank, New Jersey.  Our friends boyfriend was the head of the house for a wealthy Wall Street tycoon and his house was breathtaking.  The family was away for the holidays and told Peter to feel free to invite some guests to enjoy the night, so we were invited to the party that was being held in Peter’s private apartment attached to the main house.

The 33,000 square foot, 14 acre estate was designed after a Spanish Villa and was just breathtaking. Unfortunately for security reasons, I can’t show any of those images here, but let is suffice that this was indeed bigger and more beautiful then most of the 5 star resorts I have stayed at over the years.

Down the road from this mansion is the estate owned by  Bon Jovi. So we  knew he would be watching the display  from his estate on Navasink River Road in Red Bank, NJ.  We were invited to view the fireworks on the Navasink River from the estate of a wealthy businessman.

How To Shoot Fireworks

We sat on the lawn facing the river and and watched these fireworks that were on a barge anchored in front of us in the water. I was able to shoot this amazing video and images using my Nikon D90 camera mounted on a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod. I used my Nikkor f1.8 50mm lens for some and my Tamron 28-300mm zoom for others. Most still image exposures were taken with a shutter speed of 1-2 seconds at f8 or f11 and an ISO of 800 ASA.

Our July 4th In Pt. Pleasant, NJ 2011

Our 2011 July 4th was spent at the wonderful Jersey shore with my son, his wife, mother in law and baby Reid who was just 5 months old then. We drove down to spend the night on the boardwalk at Pt. Pleasant, NJ, where we all had a grand time. See our slide show…

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About the Author

Len Rapoport
Len Rapoport
IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive. For over 40 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media. I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant. I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.

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