Fireworks, Bangor, Maine

I was working in Bangor over the weekend and took a couple hours off to photograph the fireworks. I found a nice location in Brewer directly across the river from where they were being launched. I used the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens on my D700, with a tripod of course. I set the camera to manual focusing and metering, and kept tweaking the aperture, shutter, and ISO until I had the sky black and the fireworks exposed correctly. Too short a shutter speed and you don’t capture the complete explosion, too long a shutter speed and they smear and overexpose. I finally settled on an average exposure of ISO 400 to light up more of the buildings and reflections on the water, 1 or 2 seconds for the shutter to give enough time for the fireworks to explode, and an aperture of f/8 or f/11 to keep them from overexposing and give me greater depth of field for focusing. My focal length covered the whole range (24-70mm), but I probably averaged around 38mm to get more of the sky. I wasn’t that far away, but being on a pretty high hill I didn’t have to shoot straight up either, which allowed me to get some of the crowd and river in most of the shots.

I took a photo of nearly every firework, and about 200 of them came out really well. Here is a slideshow. Just hit the play button to begin, or the full screen button if you have a lot of Internet bandwidth. 🙂

[slidepress gallery=’2010-bangor-fireworks’]

You can also view the photos in my gallery if you’d like prints or don’t have Flash Player:

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