Explosive photography: capturing fireworks

New Year celebrations continue to be as popular as ever, with the prospect of a fresh 365 days bringing the opportunity to ‘start over’ a common draw.

Fireworks are synonymous with celebrating the turn of the year, particularly the display at the London Eye in London. Since 2003 – and an initial audience of 100,000 – the event has grown in popularity, with a massive 500,000 people watching the 2013 to 2014 display.

That being said, how many of those 500,000 people (or the 100,000 the display was limited to this time around) will capture decent shots of the action?

The difficulty comes in the sheer volume of factors that need to be set up properly – from exposure time to get the right focus in the most testing of lighting conditions.

So if you woke up on New Years Day and realise the snaps you had taken of whatever fireworks you might have enjoyed did not come out quite right, have a look at some of these wonderful time-lapse videos we have discovered for this very situation.

This video from Rob Whitworth is a little more than just fireworks (which is surprising, considering it was shot at the International Fireworks Competition in 2013. That being said, it is a superb edit that captures the beauty of exploding gunpowder.

Danang International Fireworks Competition 2013 from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.

For short bursts of as many fireworks displays as you can imagine, check out this video. Just a quick watch highlights the huge challenge that changing lighting conditions can present went shooting fireworks, particularly in a city.


firepower from Chris Pritchard on Vimeo.

Staying with America, check the 2006 Thunder Over Louisville display. It was (and still is) the largest pyrotechnics display in North America – which is some claim to fame. Cut down from a 30-minute show into a six-minute time-lapse, the breath-taking images atop Kentucky’s tallest building – the Aegon Center – do all the talking.


HD Fireworks Timelapse – Thunder Over Louisville 2009 from David Harpe on Vimeo.

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