I love fireworks, and have since I was a kid. We would all pile into the car and head off for some spot my parents had picked out as a “great spot” to view from. I usually had to agree that they were impressive (except the one year we were too close and white phosphorus rained down on everything around us and set our blankets on fire). This year my wife and I headed up the coast from Los Angeles and spent a few days in Morro Bay. Afterwards, we spent another day shooting in Big Sur. The last night in Morro Bay was July 4th, and there was a spectacular view of the fireworks from the restaurant of our hotel, so I went out on the balcony and set up my tripod. I shot twenty or so images, all on bulb (with a cable release) at ISO 200, F11, 5 – 15 seconds exposure, usually timed to catch at least two bursts. This was one of my favorites.
This was processed in Lightroom 4, then round-tripped through Photoshop, then back into Lightroom for a final selective gradient exposure boost across the bottom to bring out the details around the foreground sailboat.