best places Blog fireworks Guides independence day july forth Lincoln Memorial Washington DC washington-DC

Best Places to View Fireworks

On this guide, I’ll show you all one of the best places to photograph the Washington DC Fourth of July 2019 fireworks.

President Trump has changed the launch location for the fireworks this yr so we’ll talk about all the up-to-date info and recommend locations to photograph them.

Plus when you have never photographed fireworks before, I’ll offer you some of my prime ideas to ensure you get your greatest shot.

Let’s get crackin’… (pun meant)…

Independence Day

Independence day is the right excuse to benefit from the outdoor, eat some barbeque and exhibit your patriotism. Or keep residence all day in the air con and watch the 1996 movie, Independence Day with Will Smith. LOL Either method it’s my favourite summer time vacation as a result of I LOVE photographing the fireworks. They’re all the time so lovely and exciting to watch.

Since July is approaching shortly, I’ve been getting plenty of questions on the place to shoot the fireworks around the National Mall and surrounding areas.

So listed here are one of the best places to shoot the fireworks in Washington DC with views of the memorials:

Views of the Washington Monument

Sitting in entrance of the Lincoln Memorial is a location I discovered last yr. I figured with the huge Washington DC firework attendance that it will be troublesome to find a great spot in such a restricted area between the Lincoln Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. However to my shock, it didn’t end up to be too dangerous. It helped that I was by myself capturing so I was in a position to squeeze into the second row alongside the edge of the reflecting pool. I used to be right in the middle of the reflecting pool so it felt like the fireworks have been taking off right in front of my face. I even felt shrapnel fall on me the whole time. It was so enjoyable! LOL.

If the fireworks have been going to be in the same location in 2019 because it has been up to now 15 years, then I might have 100% advisable this location as my number one decide.

Digital camera settings for these pictures (L) F5.6 at 1/10th of a second ISO 160 (R) F5.6 at 1 second ISO 160. Each captured with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

It’s humorous the best way that the town is laid out as a result of when you’re walking round, you could not understand that the Washington Monument is actually on prime of just a little hill. I didn’t assume it made that massive of a distinction for fireworks but sitting on the garden around the Monument provides you a much lower perspective.

I captured this image in 2013 while the Washington Monument was nonetheless underneath development. I figured the scaffolding might add some curiosity. To snag this spot, I received there 3-4 hours before the fireworks started but I used to be stunned that there was still plenty of room for a later arrival.

Had I gone a bit further back and to the best a bit, I feel it might have been nice to capture the fireworks instantly behind the Washington Monument. Perhaps something to think about sooner or later.

Fireworks on the National Mall

Digital camera settings for this image is F6.Three at 1 second and ISO 100

Here’s a quick little video to watch them in action:

From america Capitol

This could have turned out higher. It was type of a final minute determination to head to the US Capitol for fireworks pictures. We arrived about an hour earlier than the fireworks have been about to begin.

So when you determine that this is the place you need to be, I’d advocate going sooner than you assume you need to! Early so you possibly can watch the complete Capitol Fourth Show introduced by PBS and get a greater view of the Washington Monument. The Capitol Fourth present is fairly great in the event you like listening to reside music.

But once more, this area in entrance of the US Capitol has restricted area. Getting prime viewing may be onerous. As you’ll be able to see, I might get a very good view of the monument and fireworks, I just want there wasn’t the stage and other people competing for the firework’s consideration.

fireworks, a capitol forth, independence day, july 4th, washington monument, washington dc, fun, crowds, people, summer, concert, pbs, a capitol fourth, independence day, weather, john stamos

Digital camera settings for this picture is F5.6 at 1 second and ISO 320

National Museum of African American History and Tradition

Grateful to my good friend, Jim who invited me to this location earlier than the museum even opened to the general public. I don’t assume there will probably be one other image like this without so many people within the foreground. It was an excellent cloudy Independence Day with on and off showers all afternoon into the early evening. Luckily there was a break within the rain and the fireworks have been still in a position to go off. That is why they appear so small and low in this picture.

The one purpose why this image is in the information is that this spot has the potential to be very cool on an evening with clear skies. I really like how there are three parts all lined up, the NMAAHC, Washington Monument and fireworks. I also assume the granite floor of the entryway to the museum makes for a probably cool reflection (with or without rain).

how to, shoot fireworks, night photography, fireworks, independence day, july 4th, america, birthday, national mall, washington dc, national museum of african american history and culture, nmaahc, national mall, washington monument, reflection, rain, clouds, dc,

Digital camera settings for this image is F16 at 3 seconds and ISO 320. The exposure for this can be a bit longer simply due to how distant I’m from the fireworks (mild).

2019 Washington DC Firework Update

All of the suggestions to date have been based mostly across the fireworks taking off on the Washington Monument. I left them in for hopes in the future for them to return to this iconic location. It truthfully an amazing location and I’ll miss it lots.

However this yr it has all changed.

According to NBC Washington, for the primary time in 15 years, the firework location is shifting. President Trump has formally introduced that it gained’t be by the Washington Monument anymore however at West Potomac Park. It is only one mile away however this little change has made the attitude utterly totally different. Especially should you still want to capture the Washington Monument and memorials.

Right here’s a map of West Potomac Park so you will get a common concept of what we ought to be anticipating:

Due to the move, it’s arduous to say exactly where can be the most effective spot to photograph the fireworks since I’ve by no means photographed them from the brand new location. But I’m pretty positive one can find me someplace alongside the Mount Vernon Path this coming vacation.

An amazing spot to begin is Theodore Roosevelt Island. In the event you walk about half a mile east, you’ll begin seeing some nice viewpoints of the memorials all lined up collectively. This vantage point might still probably work. Nevertheless, if you need a landmark, Woman Chook Johnson park could also be your greatest guess to shoot from.

You would pack a picnic and go early for this one however, it isn’t utterly crucial. There are such a lot of locations alongside the trail that provide great views of the fireworks that going early isn’t too much of a priority. Nevertheless, the visitors alongside the George Washington Parkway can get fairly nuts. Especially as soon as the fireworks get going, many automobiles stop to watch.

I tend to all the time take the metro for the fourth of July festivities. The visitors may be really dangerous and parking is a nightmare. To scale back stress, I might just hop on and off the Rosslyn metro station for this location.

washington, dc, lincoln memorial, washington monument, fireworks, july 4th, independence day, celebration, night, gw parkway,

Digital camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1 second and ISO 160

Photograph the Arlington, Virginia Fireworks

In case you don’t even need to hassle with the Washington DC firework, you’ll be able to cross the river and head over to the Iwo Jima memorial in Arlington VA. It’s an incredible various when you nonetheless want to photograph a memorial but don’t want to go into the town to do it. Once more, I might go as early as you possibly can. Attempt to make a day of it for those who can. Like, pack lunch and dinner because I’ve seen some individuals wait there starting at 9 am. The only space out there to sit and watch is the little grassy area by the flats so go early if you would like an excellent line up of the Iwo Jima memorial with the DC monuments.

Did I mention it is best to go early?

iwo jima, marine corp memorial, fireworks, dc fireworks, washington dc, angela b. pan, abpan, night photography

Digital camera settings for this picture is F/eight at 1 second and ISO 200

A Youtube video of what it was like photographing the fireworks at Iwo Jima.  Skip to 3:50 to see what it’s truly like.

Various Strategies:

These are all the places that I’ve personally photographed within the Washington DC/Arlington Va areas for fireworks. However I’m only one person who pictures the Independence day fireworks one night time a yr. So doing just a little web analysis, listed here are some various locations you may go:

→ Who doesn’t love an excellent lodge rooftop to watch the Washington DC fireworks? Props to for these ideas:

And if rooftops are your factor, like they’re mine, why not take a look at the Kennedy Middle Terrace. I’m positive you will get some cool views from there.
*Simply be sure to make you name these places for ticketing or reservation info for these places.

→ See all of the fireworks from the highest of the hill at Cardozo High Faculty (1200 Clifton Road NW). I’ve heard that this is probably the most panoramic view of all the fireworks in the city. It’s in all probability a very cool sight to see the skyline with multiple firework displays going off directly.

→ Because the fireworks are being launched at West Potomac Park, I feel the Wharf or throughout the GW Parkway with views of the Wharf shall be a really cool vantage level as properly.

→ I’ll exit on a limb and even say the Navy-Merchant Memorial might look good too… don’t @ me if I’m mistaken.

→ Don’t need to danger something? The Potomac Riverboat Firm will give you some superior views and drinks from the water! Depending on which cruise you select, dinner is served as properly.

Digital camera Settings to Seize Firework Photographs

And for those who need a number of recommendations on how to photograph the fireworks, here’s somewhat video I made in 2013 on how to do it. This is the precise approach I’ve shot all these fireworks photographs in this information. Regardless that I seem like a baby in this video, all the identical guidelines apply:

Right here’s a quick synopsis of the video:

Digital camera Gear:

  • Digital camera with ‘bulb’ perform
  • Shutter Launch Remote. No Digital camera Shake!
    • my choice is a wired remote as opposed to wi-fi.
  • Tripod

Digital camera Settings:

  • Low ISO (I often set mine between 100-200)
  • Shutter Velocity is Bulb
  • Aperture setting someplace in the center. I like F5.6 or F8

Bulb Settings:

The bulb setting in your digital camera allows you to manually choose your shutter velocity for so long as you’re holding the shutter down.
In order to seize fireworks, I’ll look forward to when the firework is about to explode. I instantly hit the digital camera distant and then anticipate the fireworks to fall. That is once I’ll release the shutter. So principally my aperture is simply open while the firework is within the sky. Not before or after.

In case you can, attempt to follow sometime earlier than the large present. You don’t want to be scrambling together with your settings and miss all the fireworks.

I hope you discovered this Snap DC guide helpful for photographing the Washington DC fireworks. With the brand new firework location this yr, it nonetheless stays just a little questionable as to the most effective location nevertheless this should offer you a reasonably good concept of the overall location.

When you have any further questions, please be happy to depart it within the comments under. I’ll attempt my greatest to answer them.

For much more detailed images strategies of these firework places, any time of the day, yr and even how to get round Washington DC, take a look at my e-book, Snap DC: Your Guide to Taking Extraordinary Pictures of the National Mall and Beyond… It was created for any degree of photographer from cellular to DSLR, who needs to minimize down the research time and spend their trip doing what they love- capturing.

Obtainable on Amazon:

Hope you all have a fun and protected Independence Day! Joyful Snapping!