We went down to some of Boston’s “First Night” celebrations on and around the Boston Common on New Year’s Eve this year (or I guess I should say “last year,” as it was still 2009). The weather was (relatively) warm (not like last year, when it was -5 degrees F), so i brought my camera to try and get some shots of the fireworks they set off on the Common at midnight Greenwich Mean Time (i.e. 7pm Eastern Standard Time).
I think this is one of the better shots that came out of this little shoot. I liked how the shot managed to capture the big long blue streaks together with some of the orange/gold color of the next bit, as well as the silhouetted outline of a bit of the downtown Boston skyline.
It was fun to experiment around with different exposures, but the fireworks were happening so fast that it was pretty hard to check the results as I was working.
I found in general that setting the camera to manual mode (but leaving autofocus on), and then setting the f-stop to between f7 and f11 and then setting the exposure between 2 and 5 seconds yielded the best results. You definitely need a tripod for this, by the way.
If I were to do anything differently, I would make sure that I was more upwind from the inevitable smoke and that I was better positioned to capture more of the skyline with the shot, but overall I think the results were satisfactory — and I had fun to boot!