White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fireworks, Boston Harbor, Fan Pier, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

I am a sucker for fireworks. So when I heard that Boston had a display in the harbor during Labor Day Weekend, I set about planning to visit. The event was sponsored by “Boston Harbor Now,” which I learned is the name of the result of a merger between the Boston Harbor Association and Harbor Island Alliance. (By the way, the horizontal small streak in the sky at right is an airplane departing Logan Airport). (Click on an image for higher resolution view).

It seems that there were three recommended public spots to observe the event: Columbus Park in the North End, Fan Pier at Fort Point Channel, and Piers Park in East Boston.

I wanted to find a viewing angle that had the fireworks in the foreground and the lighted skyline of Boston in the background. This isn't it.

I couldn't quite figure out where to do that from so I just went to Fan Pier since I know there is a good view of the city and the harbor even though they don't necessarily align for the fireworks. (See yesterday's post for city views at this link).

Many vessels were crowded with spectators, anchored in prime viewing spots.

It turns out, however, that I was lucky rather than good by choosing Fan Pier.

As I was noticing the drifting smoke from the explosions, this beautiful two-masted sailing ship with tourists aboard came motoring right into my field of view giving me an extraordinary image opportunity.

I couldn't have posed it any better if I tried - except I would have had them raise the sails.

As it inched along, the fireworks tended to be white light which helped to illuminate the smoke clouds.

But quickly the moment passed, as the ship moved out of position.

And I am left enjoying the smoke and explosions. I think next year I'll try Piers Park in East Boston for a different viewing angle!

Note: Technical info for you photographers out there, my camera is a Sony point and shoot fixed lens DSC-RX100M2 with a one inch sensor. For this event, I used a tripod (although it is plastic and flimsy and I placed it on a wooden walkway that was not completely solid - next time I'll look for stone or solid earth - I also don't have the ability to attach a cable release). 

The first batch above I used various manual settings including "bulb" for as long as 4-5 seconds, with an ISO at 160. The last batch above, I used the automatic setting (for which the camera chose a shutter speed around 1/5 second and an ISO of 3200). I just pointed and shot like the tourist I am. Turns out, I like the point and shoot images better!  I guess I am a better tourist than photographer. In any case, the fun was in the hunt for the best location and the challenge of execution.


  1. Great shots, Joe! The one with the ship is incredible!

    1. Thanks for your comment. I really like that one also.