Summer is for Fireworks

Summer is the season of fireworks in Japan. There’s bound to be a fireworks show going on somewhere in Tokyo (or the neighboring areas) on the weekends of July and August. I like photographing fireworks but I’m not a big fan of crowds… and these fireworks crowds do get pretty intense.


On August 5, we had the 29th Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival in Yokohama. Fortunately for me, the launch site was just down the road from my office building. I took my camera to work and setup my gear right in a meeting room just before the show started. Naturally it raised a few eyebrows… especially among my more hardworking comrades.


The shot below is my personal favorite of the night. It came towards the end of the 1 hour show as I got the hang of timing the camera shutter in bulb mode.


I waited a good 30 mins before leaving my office building and yet the subway station was still crowded. There’s a sense of order in the chaos, as volunteers direct people to enter and exit the stations in an efficient manner. But nope, still not a fan of the crowds.

10 thoughts on “Summer is for Fireworks

    • Thank you Draco. Indeed it must have seemed strange but i decided to be thick-skinned that day. Besides, it was after the official working hours. A few colleagues joined me to watch the fireworks from the meeting room but most people remained at their seats, eyes glued to their computers.

  1. These are superb, Vincent. I’m very jealous of your highrise position. I’d love to shoot Sydney’s New Years fireworks from one of our office buildings but alas I don’t know anyone who could make that possible.
    Great work indeed though.

  2. That last photo is beautiful! 🙂

    Great shots as usual, Vincent! I love your fireworks photos. I’ve seen Japan in fireworks competitions too, they consistently break their own records in the world’s largest aerial shells (it was 48 inches in 2008 or so during the international fireworks competition that I caught – which means it’s over 10 times as large as the common 3″ shells, I can’t even comprehend the size of a 48 inch shell!)

    • Thank you HB 🙂 Aahhh that must be the 1.2 meter shell firework that I read about. The fireworks shows in Japan are really spectacular. It’s a tradition deeply rooted in Japanese culture and I wouldn’t be surprised if they made some of the best fireworks in the world.

  3. did you really take these??? omg. they look incredibly surreal. (like you PS-ed them hardcore, lol!) how have you achieved such stunning shots? did you use a tripod to shoot in slow shutter? somehow, whenever i try to go on slow shutter, everything starts blurring together. i just don’t have the most steady hands, i know ):

    favourite pic is no doubt the first one! LOVE hanabi.

    • Thank you for your kind words 🙂 Yep they are taken with a tripod and slow shutter speed. You can still get nice firework shots with a fast shutter speed but it would look a little different – probably less surreal.

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