A Night Display

For the past few years Riverton Country Club has thrown a party near July 4th, an evening which ends with a fireworks display over the golf course. As it’s such an open space the view of the display is great from just about any angle, so people from the nearby towns gather all around the course to watch the show.

My wife and I have friends who live off the course, and each year they have a party on the night of the display. This affords me an excellent vantage point for the sky show, and I’ve made it a habit to bring my camera and tripod along with me to the party 1.

This was the first opportunity I had to capture some fireworks photos with my Panasonic G7, and the smaller sensor had me playing with settings a bit. I ended up settling on setting most of my shots to ƒ/11, with a 2.5 second shutter, and these turned out fantastic. Though I was taken a bit by surprise by the G7’s automatic “long shutter noise reduction,” which caused a bit more delay between shots than I would have liked 2

My most unique capture of the night, however, was shot with a 3.2 second shutter and an f-stop of ƒ/8.0. The extra time showed off the light trails of the casing remnants as they separated from the main lines of travel and began their descent to the ground. This gave the subject an organic feel, like some sort of mythical bird-creature flying into the freedom of the sky. Other than the automatic lens profile corrections which are present in Micro Four-Thirds photos, this photo has not been altered from the camera.

A firework takes on an organic look in a long-exposure photograph
Panasonic G7 with 25mm 1.7 lens • ISO 200 • ƒ/8.0 • 3.2 sec

For the rest of my favorite photos from the display check out my Adobe Portfolio.


  1. Which I missed last year, as I was in Portland, Oregon for ABCUSA’s Biennial. It was worth the miss, but I was bummed I missed the show. 
  2. But I can’t argue with the results, so no big deal. 

2 Thoughts

  1. Nice shot! We didn’t have much of a fireworks display this year–we tried taking the boys, but they just can’t handle that kind of a late night mixed with an OBSCENE amount of mosquitoes. Ah well!

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