Photographers are gearing up for this seasons fireworks displays. Let me start by saying there are really no new, undiscovered buttons or switches on your camera. There are however some settings that work better in this situations than others. By that I mean that we are talking about letting the shutter stay open for an extended time to capture movement. In this example, I left the shutter open for 4 seconds. I was able to set up at the caution line and basically shoot straight up. It captures the full movement of the sky rocket from launch to complete expansion. It was windy that evening, so it helped to spread the shower out. Link here for some helpful Firework Ideas. Not all settings are available on every camera, but are a general guideline on what works. The important thing is to try and see what works for you. You can practice ahead of time with some sparklers and a willing assistant to see how it all fits together before you get the the show.
In the photo of the sailboat, I used a completely different setup. I was some distance away as I wanted to include the lake in the foreground and the spectators in the boats near the far shoreline. As a photographer, we have to visualize the finished product before we take the picture. For this one, I arrived in daylight to set up. I knew that the fireworks would light up the lake and that there would be boats in a flotilla on the far side, down close. As I was capturing the firework show, I saw a small sail boat out of the corner of my eye. I hoped for and waited for it to cross show center. I knew that it would be the money shot if the timing was right. It was a complete surprise and a complete success. I haven’t been able to duplicate that moment, but have found that if you take time to plan out your photo shoot and prepare for the unexpected, you may just find something more that you hoped for. Good luck hunting down those Fireworks !!