2017 Montgomery Township United States Independence Day Fireworks

We have no plans for the 4th, but we always attend the United States Independence Day Fireworks at the Montgomery High School. They are often well attended and are funded independently of the township. We've been doing it since the kids were in kindergarten (and before I knew how to use a DSLR).

New Hope and Lambertville Friday Night Fireworks: Goat Hill

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Lambertville, New Jersey & New Hope, Pennsylvania will again be doing their First Fridays fireworks shows again this summer. I photographed the fireworks last year. At that time, I was down at The Station Inn on the bank of the river, just the near the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge. I did not like the vantage point. I felt that I was too close to the water. I had to tilt my camera straight up and shoot with an extremely wide lens (11mm). The crowd was also not appreciative of a phalanx of photographers blocking the view and a few people yelled at us. Someone threw small pebbles. I got some decent shots but I decided that I must scout for a different location from which to shoot the fireworks.

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This year, the Photografriends Meetup Group planned a field trip to shoot the fireworks. The location for the shoot was the Goat Hill Overlook in Lambertville. As you can see in the photos above, it has a fantastic view down onto Lambertville and New Hope.

I arrived early (around 7 PM) to make sure I could secure a spot for my tripod and to pre-focus the lens. I think it's challenging to focus on objects in the dark.

The parking area is at the bottom of the hill and there is about a half-mile walk from the parking area to the overlook. The path is not paved but rather covered in stone. I brought my headlamp and flashlight. I could see from the thick tree cover on either side, that the walk back down the hill would be in complete darkness.

fireworks, new hope, Pennsylvania , Lambertville, goat hill, overlook
New Hope and Lambertville Friday Night Fireworks
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Sunset on that day was around 8:40 PM, and we have a good view of the sun setting almost exactly behind New Hope that evening. I experimented a little. Typically I shoot in manual mode, with the lens set to f/16 and the shutter speed of fifteen seconds at ISO 100. I started out with that setting but then tried stopping down to f/18 and f/20 and increasing my exposure times to twenty seconds and thirty seconds.

I think these came out quite well. The longer exposure allowed me to capture more streaks and multiple explosions in one exposure. However, I wish the photos were a bit sharper. I think the streaks are a little soft. I'll have to work on focusing for the next time. Hey, I have the whole summer to practice on this.

fireworks, new hope, Pennsylvania , Lambertville, goat hill, overlook
New Hope and Lambertville Friday Night Fireworks
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New Hope and Lambertville Friday Night Fireworks: 2016

The annual Friday Night Lights event put on by the New Hope, Pennsylvania and Lambertville, New Jersey Chambers Of Commerce, is a massive hit with area locals. Each weekend, the celebration draws a sizable crowd of people enjoying warm summer weekends with a bang and a boom while shopping in the art galleries or dining in restaurants.

It was my first time shooting fireworks at this location, and it was something I wanted to do for a while.

fireworks, water, new hope