Fireworks reflection at the British Musical Fireworks Championship in Southport, England
All images are copyrighted and used with permission of their photographers.
Whatever the occasion – be it New Year’s Eve, the 4th of July, the Olympics, or simply a summer festival – there’s nothing quite like a good fireworks display to brighten up the celebrations. Now just imagine these popular pyrotechnic displays reflected in a body of water like a lake for added effect! But of course you don’t have to imagine… We’ve found 20 incredible examples of dazzling firework reflections. Double the fun!
Here, we’ve got some stunning firework displays over lake Kuchajda in Bratislava, Slovakia. Don’t the three fireworks in the front look like giant sparklers? And their reflection is near perfect. Fireworks, incidentally, were invented in China as far back as the 7th century. Even today, China is the world’s largest fireworks manufacturer and exporter.
This gorgeous display is mirrored in a body of water in the municipality of Ruovesi in Finland – a land of lakes if ever there was one. If it looks kind of eerie, it’s fitting really, as the fireworks were set off as part of the annual ‘Witches’ or Walpurgis (Vappu) Night celebrations, held exactly sixth months on from Halloween.
With their bristle-like appearance and orange and pink hues, these reflected fireworks resemble some kind of giant exotic insect – if you cock your head to the side, that is! Maybe a caterpillar – what do you think?
Taken in Austin, Texas on the 4th of July 2007, this photograph features not only a majestic firework exploding high in the air and reflected in the smooth surface of the water below, but also lightning cracking in the clouds overhead. The reflection may not be perfect, but the brooding atmosphere this picture evokes makes it a must-include in our book.
Here, we’ve got a composition in gold – a color produced in fireworks by charcoal, iron or lampblack compounds. With the surrounding star-like effects and reflection, it looks like some kind of fantastical crown, doesn’t it? The photo was taken at the British Musical Fireworks Championship in Southport, England, in 2011. That must have been a real feast for the senses!
Firework competitions such as this one are actually not uncommon; there are a few held around the world, including the Montreal Fireworks Festival in Quebec, Canada, the World Pyro Olympics in Manila, in the Philippines, and the DaNang International Fireworks Competition in Vietnam. That’s a world tour to think about embarking upon!
Here, we can see what looks to be a ‘spider’ pyrotechnic effect melting into the water. The angle makes for a spectacular perspective. In fact, the photo might almost look like a fake, were it not for the traces of smoke we can make out in the background. Simply dazzling!
This near-perfect reflection was snapped in 2011 during the Morin Lake Days Fun Run in Alden, Minnesota. We love the way the reddish and white displays merge, with each sparkling strand reflected in a crimped fashion in the water.
This photo is another that was taken in the British Musical Fireworks Championship. Unsurprisingly, this event showcases fireworks displays set to music, but they’re also performed before a panel of judges who crown the winner. If you’d like to see what it’s all about for yourself, it’ll be held in 2012 between September 28th and 30th in Southport, England. Just make sure you secure a spot across a body of water, so you can get shots like these. Marvelous!
Here, we can see the not-so-still surface of the water in Melbourne Docklands distorting the reflection of fireworks it contains – though in this case the distortion only seems to add to the overall effect. With bursting fireworks on top and comet-like effects at the bottom, the whole display bears a resemblance to a bouquet of flowers. Dazzling.
With the reflection, this sparkling firework fanfare is transformed into two dazzling wheels of light. The shot was also taken at the British Musical Fireworks Championship, and photographer Simon Robshaw claims the pyrotechnics he witnessed were “the best fireworks I've ever seen by a long stretch.” We can certainly believe it.
No article about fireworks could be complete without mentioning the beautiful displays at Disneyland. As photographer William McIntosh recalls, he stumbled upon his location behind some trees because another area had been roped off. Yet while he was initially disappointed about the obstruction in front of him, he ended up with this marvelous shot containing a reflection in the old motorboat dock. We love how crooked and surreal the purple, pink and turquoise displays look reflected in the water. It’s a fantastical image that’s fitting given the location.
This is a fireworks reflection to our liking; so crisp and sharp that you could even turn the image upside down without anyone noticing. If you look closely, you’ll see that the center of the reflection actually shows greater detail than the original. And if you’re wondering how to capture a stunning photo like this (taken at Oak Lake Park in Lincoln, Nebraska) or indeed fireworks in general, check out photographer Ben Hollingsworth’s tutorial.
These fireworks resemble a pair of wings; actually, make that two pairs of wings, if you include their reflection in the Bow River in Banff, Alberta, Canada. It’s a good example of how a reflection can be just as beautiful as its real counterpart.
Incidentally (for the chemists out there!) displays that are fully or partly white or silver in color are achieved using fireworks that contain titanium, aluminum, antimony, beryllium, or magnesium powders.
Here it’s as if the Bow River in Banff is using an impressionistic brush technique to offer its own interpretation of the town’s Halloween fireworks.
With images so serene, it’s easy to forget that light is not the only by-product of fireworks; there’s also noise and smoke. And, while some might object to such byproducts – not least environmentalists and pets! – celebrations like those on New Year’s Eve often deliberately include noise. In fact, in the Philippines, horns, loud sound systems and exploding fireworks are used in the belief that they scare away evil spirits.
Doesn’t this display look like feathers emerging from a crown? A sparkling heraldic badge in pink and violet mirrored magnificently in the water below! The colors in fireworks are produced by chemicals, by the way. Potassium and rubidium produce violet tones; strontium and lithium more reddish hues.
If we wanted a title for this image, ‘The Classic’ would certainly work well. Various colorful firework displays bloom into something akin to a beautiful flower. The reflection, meanwhile, captures the essence of the pyrotechnics, just blurring the borders of the different colors and patterns.
In this image, it’s amazing to see how the fireworks display gets more of a greenish tinge as it’s reflected in the water. If the displays were green to begin with, it would be an indication that a barium compound was used in the fireworks. This gorgeous shot was another captured at the Halloween bonfire fireworks in Banff, Canada.
Here’s one more brilliant 4th of July photo, this one taken beside New Jersey’s Lake Carnegie. The firework’s beautiful yellow and orange tones suggest calcium and sodium may have been part of the pyrotechnic composition, and while the mirror image may not be perfect, it’s more than made up for by the shot’s overall brilliance.
Next, another beautiful shot taken beside Bratislava’s lake Kuchajda – this time a giant explosion of red and white pyrotechnics once again reflected in the water. With the blue background of a fading evening sky, the colors are simply breathtaking.
Thus ends our tour of amazing firework reflections, but with summer and the 4th of July just around the corner, we won’t have to wait long until more displays are held that we can witness in person. Just make sure to station yourself at a spot overlooking a lake or river so you can take your own stunning photographs, like these ones.