Questions on Firework Photos

My friend took me to Rose Bowl Stadium to see firework on the 4th of July. I thought it would be a great opportunity to take some photos. Preparing for the event, I read some how-to articles. And I found out (1) I should use tripod — I didn’t bring one to LA (2) I should use a remote release – I didn’t have one (3) I should scope out the location for a better photo – the seat was pre-assigned (4) It would be nice to include some foreground or background – but there wasn’t much to include from where I was.

So, I took some photos of the firework without any foreground or background. I wonder how I know it is a good firework photo. What am I supposed to look for? Composition? Color? Sharpness?

Firework at Rose Bowl Stadium

Firework at Rose Bowl Stadium

Firework at Rose Bowl Stadium

Firework at Rose Bowl Stadium

Firework at Rose Bowl Stadium

Firework at Rose Bowl Stadium

Firework at Rose Bowl Stadium

Firework at Rose Bowl Stadium

Waiting for the fireworks

Waiting for the fireworks

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
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14 Responses to Questions on Firework Photos

  1. sonyavdg says:

    I’m not a technically good enough photographer to say why but the first one works best for me

    Like

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, and thank you. Most firework photos I have seen look like the first one, so I thought I would post others as well, since I don’t really know what I am supposed to look for. 😉 Your comment have pointed me to a good direction to look. Thanks.

      Like

  2. I have to learn more about fireworks too, but the first shot looks great to me! I like the composition and the different “textures” of light and the contrast 🙂

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    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Anica. What you said makes a lot of sense, particularly about “the different textures” of light. I will add that criteria when I see another firework photo. THANKS!

      Like

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Great pics Helen! It’s good you are back, I missed you!

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    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Elizabeth. I miss you too. You have another smart photo posted, but I have problem commenting with iPad, so I didn’t make any comment.
      This is the first time I took some photos on firework. Most firework photos I saw, I like them, which means I had no idea what makes one better 😉 I am learning and I enjoy every minute of it. Ha.

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  4. Cee Neuner says:

    The first question to ask yourself is “Do I like the photo”. That’s all that matters. These are great fireworks. I especially like the first. I adore your candid shot too.

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    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Cee. I think my problem is that I like them “almost” equally. This tells me that I really don’t have any idea what make one firework photo better than the other 😉 But you were right that I shouldn’t forget that “Do I like the photo” is important too.
      Have a great day.

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  5. treerabold says:

    I struggle with the same issue. I took a bunch of pictures of fireworks this year. Some of my pictures look like typical firework pictures and others look like “mistakes” but I really like how they turned out….the mistakes look kind of like modern art!!
    Maybe what is important is that we take pictures and enjoy the process 🙂
    I like your first picture…it looks the most “professional” But I also like the third photo…the different colors and stages of explosion are nice.

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    • Helen C says:

      I, too, like the first and the third. The 4th one, I managed to include a part of building, so I included the photo. The second one — it was a different kind of firework so it produced different light pattern. Is that a good photo (even though we don’t like it as much?) If not, what needs to be done differently? That’s what I would like to find out. Anica has a good point. Maybe it (the second one) needs textures?
      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it a lot.

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      • treerabold says:

        I’m glad you are asking these questions….these are the things I also hope to learn. Also by you asking I am stopping and looking at your pictures differently. For example I realize I like the puffs of smoke, the imperfect lines in the second one but all together it doesn’t appeal to me the way the others do.
        Now I can’t wait to get home from work and go through my firework pictures tonight!!

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        • Helen C says:

          After reading your comment, I took another look at those pictures. I think I like the 3rd one the best. The composition of the 1st one, for some reason, doesn’t satisfy me. And back to 2nd photo, I wonder if a smart cropping would make some difference. Hmm… lots to think about.
          Can’t wait to see your photos. Quite often, seeing other people’s wonderful photos helps me identify my problem.

          Like

  6. pambrittain says:

    You are turning pro with that camera. Great post.

    Like

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