The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays at the New York Institute of Photography. It marks the United States of America's founding, dated by the promulgation of a remarkable document – the Declaration of Independence. Reading first two paragraphs reminds us that its words are just as stirring and important today as they were 236 years ago:
The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
For many years, what has come to be thought of as "Our Nation's Birthday" has been marked with a National Holiday in mid-summer complete with parades, picnics, cookouts, and more than any other American Holiday – fireworks displays which offer opportunities for breathtaking fireworks photography. It's worth a moment to reflect on the words we've reproduced above and not completely lose sight of the promise and responsibilities of Independence. Accounts of celebrations beginning 1777 tell us that fireworks have been a part of that celebration from that date to the present.
To give you a complete rundown of how to photograph fireworks, we're happy to present you with two fireworks photography articles.
How to Photograph Fireworks: Or Have Fun on the Fourth of July, which is intended to help you take some great photographs of large fireworks displays.
Photographing Fireworks in Your Backyard offers suggestions for fireworks photos you can make during backyard fireworks displays.