Saturday, July 5, 2008


Rockets Red Glare : Fireworks on the National Mall : Lincoln Memorial

I vacillated whether to brave the weather, traffic, the crowds, and security this year in order to see the annual fireworks show on the National Mall. At around 7:00 I decided, what the heck! I've really wanted to take fireworks pictures and now that I have a good tripod, I didn't want to miss an opportunity. So, I drove from my neighborhood in tippy-top NW DC down to 15th and R Streets NW and parked. Then I walked nearly 2.5 miles to Memorial Bridge and the back side of the Lincoln Memorial where I set up my tripod and camera and got ready for the action to start. Here are the results of my first time taking pictures of fireworks (with appropriate equipment) and succeeding!

Bombs Bursting in Air : Fireworks on the National Mall : Lincoln Memorial

True Blue, All-American Fireworks : National Mall : Lincoln Memorial

Yee haw! : Fireworks on the National Mall : Lincoln Memorial

Hope everyone had a fun and safe July 4th!


babooshka said...

Excellent captures, no glare at all.

Lake Lady said...

Nice job!! Your first attempt turned out better than mine!

Clueless in boston said...

Great photos, it looks like it was worth all the time and effort.

The DC Feed Editor said...

Awesome photos! I have linked to this post at The DC Feed.

Jim said...

They look great, better than the ones they have on MSN right now. I think you did wonderful on your first attempt.

Keith said...

Great job! I was lucky enough to watch the fireworks in person on the National Mall one year. It was something I'll never forget.

Virginia said...

Yee Haw! I even smoked some fine ribs on the smoker. You pictures are great.

D.C. Confidential said...

Babooshka: LOL! These are the good, non-glare ones. You should see the rest! :-)

Lake Lady: Thanks! My first attempt last year was an abysmal failure. It's too bad we have to wait a year to get pictures like this, eh

CIB: Totally worth the effort!

DC Feed: Thanks! I'll check the link. I appreciate the publicity.

Jim: I'll have to check out MSN. The only bummer last night was I was a little downwind, which meant most of the fireworks were obscured by smoke. Next year, I'm attaching a windsock to my tripod!

Keith: With the possible exception of Mount Rushmore and Philadelphia, I can't think of a more moving venue for the 4th and fireworks! Glad you've had the experience.

Virginia: Ribs. YUM!

Lucy said...


I love them all. I didn't see fireworks last night (translates into too many wildfires around here)so I'm watching them vicariously through your shots. I'd like to see them in DC. So pretty. Another way I'd like to see them is from air. My son's a pilot but not licensed for night flying yet. Dang!

John said...

Great set of images - one of these days I will have to go into DC on the 4th of July.

Ben Wideman said...

great shots! fireworks are so tricky to get perfectly.

oh, and your digital america image is sweet! i was just in DC a few weeks ago and found that exhibit to be really compelling.

marley said...

Well done on some excellent firework photos! I've got to wait until November for my chance at taking some firework snaps.

The Artful Eye said...

Great minds think alike once again.
I wasn't go to do it but decided why not. I do love fireworks displays and the randomness of the pyrotechnic displays. I also posted some pics from our neck of the woods, if you're interested.

Your pics are wonderful with the backdrop of the Lincoln Memorial.

KaBoOm back at ya!

D.C. Confidential said...

Lucy: The next time you visit Alice and the King of Hearts, you should come for July 4th. The fireworks here are really something!

John: The fireworks in D.C. are something everyone should experience at least once. It's really something!

Ben Wideman: I love that map! I've got to go back and take another picture that allows me to get the whole thing in one shot. And isn't the Old Patent Office that houses SAAM something? What a neat building.

Marley: Can't wait to see your fireworks. Is that in connection with Guy Fawkes?

Andrea: I'm glad you got out. All the headache of traffic, etc. is worth it for that 20-25 minutes of fireworks, isn't it? And speaking of that, I wish they'd double the length of the show. I could have watched another 20 minutes of pyrotechnic displays.

Mary Helen said...

Oh my goodness! Very beautiful!
They are great.

April said...

Nice photos. I think it's not easy (for me) to take night shots. Grüße aus Köln :-))

Joy said...

I have always said this - there's nothing like fireworks in the US on Independence Day!

Many thanks for your visits to Norwich Daily Photo. Today is very important to me because I'm celebrating my first year anniversary and I hope you'll take a peek!

A Pinay in England
Your Love Coach

D.C. Confidential said...

Mary Helen: Thanks!

April: Photographing at night took some practice, but if you have a timed exposure setting on your camera, you should be able to produce night shots. If you're using an actual DSLR, a lot of it has to do with aperture settings. I'm using a POS, so my ability is pretty limited. Someone who takes great twilight and night shots is Rob.

Joy: I'd have to agree! Thanks for stopping by and congrats on your one year blogiversary!

Maya said...

It can be a pain to see the fireworks and get nice shots, can't it? But, it is sometimes worth it! These are nice. I especially like the blue one!

Maya said...

BTW, since you seemed to like my fireworks shots, I thought I'd give you a link to the tips sheet I read before taking them. Some useful stuff there!

There is a bit about the smoke in there.

Chris said...

You got some good shots! I was amazed at the amount of smoke this year. When I was in Barcelona in Sept., I shot a bunch of fireworks, and there is very little smoke.

D.C. Confidential said...

Maya: I know! I kept thinking, "Hey, I'm missing the fireworks here" because I was so busy taking pictures and adjusting my settings and then finding a better spot. (I originally started on the southwest corner of the Lincoln, but the wind was blowing the smoke that way, obscuring the explosions.) The tips sheet you sent along is excellent! I need to find the booklet for my camera again and figure all its manual settings. Also, I was so excited to have the right equipment this year (i.e. an adjustable tripod) that I forgot to use my fireworks setting. Ugh. Well, there's always next year, right? Thanks for the tips, Maya!

Chris: We could blame the smoke on the fact that fireworks are made in China. The only problem, fireworks are pretty much only made in China. I wonder why some are smokier than others?

Arlene said...

Oh the jealousy! These are my favorite pictures! Wish we could have been there.

USelaine said...

I especially like that intense blue one combined with the memorial - wow! Personal fireworks are illegal here now, and a few of the pro shows cancelled due to all the wild fires. That's okay, I have your blog.

Isadora said...

:) LOvely, I ended up watching the news video on the web. It was a long time ago when the children and I sat on the mall and enjoyed the works then the ashes :)

D.C. Confidential said...

Arlene: Well, I guess you guys will have to make two trips out here! ;-)

USElaine: That one's my favorite, too. I think canceling fireworks shows in California this year was probably prudent.

Isadora: The fireworks on the Mall are pretty darn spectacular. Although, I can imagine that Budapest makes a lovely backdrop for this type of display, too!