First let me say thank you so much to everyone who entered, while we didn’t have many entries this year, I was very excited and happy to see all of them. I also wanted to give a little feedback as to why I selected these three as our winners.

– Probably the most common mistake with fireworks, is blown out highlights. If you look at the winners, there is excellent sharpness, color and exposure of the bursting firework itself, typically achieved through a smaller aperture, as well as using a good lens focused correctly. Its counter intuitive, but yes, you want a smaller aperture, I usually start at f8 and stop down from there depending on my ISO.

– This years Winner Andrew Nissley narrowly won simply because she included a foreground element that was also properly exposed. Im not crazy out the restoration scaffold in it, but besides this, it was almost perfectly executed, and not easy to do. A huge secret to winning Fireworks Contests? Include interesting foregrounds. There were a few other contestants who did this, but all of the elements didnt come together as Andreas:

First Place: Andrea Nissley:I really liked Danny Phibb’s Collage, look at the detail and sharpness of each burst. Excellently executed!While Joe Hollars’ shot is simple and straightforward, look at the burst isnt over exposed. Also notice the smooth curves? That means the camera was absolutely still, he wasnt even breathing on it. When I see jagged fireworks trails it means the photographer was touching or leaning on the tripod while it was shooting.Thank you to everyone who entered!