Handheld, On a Boat, At Night

The sight and sound of fireworks colorfully blazing across the night sky has dazzled audiences since the Chinese first devised the explosive concoction as far back as the 7th Century. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a little kid or a old sea-salted buccaneer, on the 4th of July throughout America you want to find a good seat for the fireworks extravaganza that’s sure to be a big part of the evening’s entertainment. And while some fireworks shows may be bigger, last longer or come with a full symphonic orchestra, there is one vantage point in Southern California that is like few others.


The Los Angeles area offers nearly 50 different fireworks celebrations to choose from and depending on your vantage point you can watch several shows at the same time.


For an up close, front row view, book a seat on a whale watching boat that is tucked into a special viewing position inside Redondo Beach Harbor. This sells out every year, but it’s worth the effort, http://www.voyagerexcursions.com/buy-tickets/4th-of-july-fireworks-sunset-cruise/.


And when they say front row, that’s what it is, because the shore police chases away any boat, canoe or kayak who tries to drift in front of you.

Here’s a few shots taken handheld from last night’s display aboard the boat. We were less than 300 yards from the fireworks barge in the middle of the harbor. Those with a bit of sensitivity to noise might want to bring along some ear plugs.

I recommend sitting on the lower deck on the side closest to the fireworks barge (usually starboard, but check with the crew).








Love the power and flexibility of digital equipment. Canon 6D, 24–105, f4 autofocus, image stabilization.