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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 07/06/2011

2011 Washington, D.C. fireworks show

Fireworks light up the Potomac River Monday night. (Kevin Ambrose)
It’s kind of hard to top Ian’s photo from yesterday’s fireworks preview, but as Jason promised, here’s an assortment of firework photos that were taken by both me and Ian. As we have done a few times in the past, we decided to photograph the fireworks together and compare shots.

Ian chose the location for our photo shoot and we met around 6pm by the Potomac River. The location is known by local photographers, but it’s definitely not a tourist destination. The spot is actually a bike trail bridge over a small creek that flows into the Potomac. Only about a dozen tripods fit on the bridge, and the constant bike traffic makes it a bit challenging to photograph. Runners on the trail also shake the bridge and ruin any timed exposure. Luckily, everyone seemed to stop biking and running during the fireworks show.

Continue reading for fireworks photos and a time lapse video.

(Kevin Ambrose)
In a number of the photos there is a lone man sitting on a log watching the fireworks. All of us photographers groaned when the guy pulled his kayak up on the sandbar and started to walk up the embankment. He was in the middle of our shot and he didn’t seem to care. But after he sat down on the log and started watching the show, the silhouette of a solitary individual watching the fireworks added to the composition of the photos. At least I think it does. Perhaps I’ll take Photoshop and remove him from the scene and then compare.

Kevin Ambrose.

Ian Livingston.

Kevin Ambrose.

Ian Livingston.

Kevin Ambrose.

Kevin Ambrose.

(Ian Livingston)

I tried something new this year for my annual fireworks trip. I booked a hotel room in Rossyln. I live nearby, in Fairfax County, but year-after-year I dread photographing D.C. fireworks because it is so difficult to get back home. This year, by booking a room, I had an easy parking spot at the hotel and an air conditioned room a few blocks from the Potomac. Sure, it cost a few bucks, but it made the entire experience very pleasant. Perhaps I will move to Rosslyn one day.

The video below is a time lapse of the entire fireworks show compressed into one minute.

If you’d like to see more of our photos, check out our complete 2011 Fireworks gallery.

Finally, check out these links to past fireworks photographs:




By and  |  11:30 AM ET, 07/06/2011

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