The Photo of the Week is posted every Monday. Each photo aims to document the things I've seen, places I've been and all sorts of curious things I have encountered as I go about my daily activities. Along with the photo I will provide some background and interesting facts about the image and some technical information as well.
Independence Day celebrations are in full swing all across the country with dazzling fireworks displays that light up the sky. To find an event near you, check your local newspaper, TV news station or a local tourism website that covers your area. This photo was taken at "The Great American Boom" celebration at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, CT. This particular show takes place every year at this location and it draws very large crowds to the park.
If you plan to photograph fireworks, be sure to arrive very early so you'll have a better chance to pick your viewpoint and so you can avoid having people or obstacles in your way. I always try to get as many good shots as early in the show as possible because more and more smoke begins to fill the sky as the show goes on and the smoke will create a hazy effect over the fireworks. Trust me, the smoke will definitely degrade the quality of your images. Photos of fireworks look best when the sky is dark and free from smoke. Also, when taking photos in dimly lit or dark situations, having your camera on a tripod will eliminate blurry images (unless you are not properly focused) due to camera shake. I used a tripod for this photo along with a wireless shutter release so I would not have to touch the camera to take each photo.
Remember to be safe if you plan to photograph a fireworks show. Obey all boundaries and do not go to areas that have been roped off for everyone's safety. Be alert to your surroundings and make note of any security booths in the event there is an emergency. Keep your camera equipment and other belonging close to you at all times. Don't get so caught up in the photo taking process that you become the victim of theft when it could have been easily prevented. Following these safety tips will allow you to enjoy the show and come home with some fireworks photos you will be proud of!
Equipment and Settings
5 sec at f11, ISO 160
Canon 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM lens set at 33mm