Fireworks and Lightning, what a great combo :)

I’ve been looking forward to the 4th of July for a couple of months now. I’’ve never had any success taking photographs of fireworks or lightning for that matter. My goal was to fix one of those two and since I knew there were going to be fireworks, I was estatic about having the chance to have a go at them again.

I did a little reading before heading out to capture my fireworks photos. My goal was to get 8 to 10 nice shots. On my way out to the field that I wanted to shoot from a storm started brewing. Lots of lightning and no rain and from what I could see the lightning was striking the ground. I live in Florida so lightning is something that I see quite a bit but I’ve never really stood out in a lightning storm to try and take photographs (the area I live in is the lightning captial of the world and also leads in the people struck catagory too). Still though, my goal was 8 to 10 good firework shots, I would have to brave the lightning photos another night. So after arriving at my spot the storm and lightning strikes started to pick up in intensity. So now I’m wondering if they are going to be able to get the fireworks show going or not since the lightning seems to be coming from their direction.

I decided to stay in my truck until I saw some fireworks or heard them, it ended up being the latter. After a few loud booms, I decided I would go ahead and setup for some shots near my truck. The first thing I tried was setting my D200 up for 30 second shutter speeds and since I was a fair distance from the show, I chose to use my 70-300mm lens. It was pretty obvious after a few photos that this wasn’t going to work well for me, the exposures were too long and the lens wasn’t getting enough of the landscape in for my taste plus I had actually missed a few fireworks that exploded out of my frame. So my next adjustment was to change lenses and go with my 18-55mm kit lens. This gave me the wide angle I needed in order to capture more fireworks but the 30 second exposure was not giving me the results I was looking for, I ended up decreasing my exposures to 15 and then 10 seconds before I ended up with the results I was after. Of course, while I am doing this, lightning is striking all over the place around the fireworks show. I really haven’t done much research on capturing lightning strikes but I have to say I am very pleased with my 4 photos that I managed to not only catch some decent fireworks but also some really nice lighting strikes :)

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Journal Comments

  • Elaine Manley
  • MKWhite