Fireworks displays have long been associated with Independence Day here in the United States, but we also use them to celebrate other events, such as New Year’s and various festivals around the country. Washington Post staff photojournalist Salwan Georges recently visited the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival and caught the fireworks display, which takes place roughly a month before the nation celebrates Independence Day. The festival takes place over the course of 10 days and is replete with various events including parades, dances, a wine festival and a 10K race. More than 200,000 people attend the event each year.
To make the photographs here, Georges arrived a few hours before the fireworks started to plan his position. He told In Sight how he made the images: “I used my wide-angle lens, 24mm and put my camera on a tripod. I set my shutter very low, closed my aperture and started to play with zooming in and out as I take the photos. As the first fireworks went up in the sky I started to make quick adjustments until I think the settings are close before playing around.”
Georges said his biggest challenge was just trying to get his settings right, and also trying to keep his camera dry because it started raining midway through the show. He also gives some advice to those who might be setting out to take their own fireworks pictures. “I think the most important item to photograph fireworks is a steady tripod,” he said. “And to not forget to experiment and play around with slow shutter with fireworks — the results will always be surprising!”
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