It's true when they say you get better shooting the same subject second time around, as you learn from your mistakes and try out new techniques. I think I improved my images dramatically on last years attempt, I have featured my favourite images in this post.
This year I decided to go for a two camera set up, shooting simultaneously, one with a super wide lens complete with a 10-stop ND (Neutral Density) filter and the other shooting with a standard lens without filters. I took a gamble with the filter which I had read up on as being very effective for shooting fireworks displays. With the ND filter obscuring all view of the scene and exposure, it was a real challenge focusing the scene and calculating the exposures correctly for the display. I found exposures of around one minute with the aperture almost wide open at f3.2 worked best, and of course there was a lot of luck involved! The first two shots directly below were shot with the ND Filter and are a 62 second exposure and the second a 66 second exposure.
In conclusion I found both techniques worked well in their own way, with some interesting results. But I am glad I had two set ups, as for some of the fireworks in the display, the really long exposures did not capture them well.
Photographing fireworks well is always a challenge and I am looking forward to experimenting more with the 10-Stop ND Filter in the future!
Smoking Castle after the displays finale.