July 4th Fireworks, Chicago, IL, USA by Michael Bennett

This photo is a composite of four stacked photos all shot on a tripod. The Canon 5D Mk IV camera was set to manual, f/11, 8 second exposure, ISO 50, and auto-exposure bracketing (AEB) was set to three photos: -1 stop, proper exposure, +1 stop. Output was set to RAW plus an 8MP jpg. So every time I pressed the shutter, I took three raw photos and three jpg photos.

The lens had a polarizer filter and stabilization and auto-focus turned off. The camera was pre-aimed and pre-focused on the fireworks. The polarizer might have been unnecessary, but I thought it would give me longer exposures to capture more fireworks bursts without over exposure.

The shutter was controlled via wi-fi and Bluetooth using the free Canon CameraConnect app that I installed on my iPhone X. The app has connection instructions. For my camera, my iPhone connected to wi-fi SSID EOS5D4A-370_Canon0A. Within the app, I selected Remote live view shooting and could see through the camera lens via the phone and press the phone’s remote shutter.

The resulting setup let me sit on a lounge chair 5 feet from the camera and take photos remotely.

I brought all of the photos into Lightroom CC and selected the four photos with the most interesting fireworks and exposure. I then selected Photo > Merge Photos > HDR and checked the three checkboxes. The resulting photo came out pretty well with the red streaks from Lake Shore Drive leading your eye to the fireworks at Navy Pier.

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