Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

In the midst of the Revolutionary War, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was finalized and officially adopted by the Continental Congress, declaring the thirteen colonies of the United States independent from Great Britain. While the war continued on until 1783, the colonies considered themselves free from the King’s rule and with their rights of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Founding Fathers who drafted the document, like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin knew that claiming their independence would be a momentous occasion. As the draft was finalized, John Adams wrote to his wife that this date “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” One year later, on July 4, 1777, Philadelphia marked the first anniversary celebrating with bonfires, bells, and fireworks. The celebrations slowly spread to towns across the country and have continued to present day with parades, barbeques, family get-togethers, and, of course, fireworks.

Fireworks displays today range from sparklers in the yard to grand, spectacular displays of art. But regardless of the size, fireworks are a great addition to any celebration. While lighting sparklers is pretty easy, photographing fireworks can be a little more complicated. It takes some practice to get your camera set up correctly, but the photos you’re able to capture with the pops of bright color and detail are just astounding and well worth the effort. It’s all about framing your shot, staying super still with a tripod and self-timer, and setting up your camera correctly with aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

At KelbyOne, we’ve got all the tips and tricks to capturing fireworks and other beautiful low light shots.  Sign up for as little as $9.99/mo. to access Gabriel Biderman’s class on Night-Time Photography Techniques and a variety of other courses on night-time photography from our library.

Get started today! Learn everything you need to capture the beautiful fireworks displays tomorrow and enjoy time celebrating America’s freedom.

Happy Independence Day!