Flashlights and Fireworks

by Lolli

A few years ago, I sat in my lawn chair on the 4th of July at the county fairgrounds waiting for the fireworks to start. My nice, new camera was in my hands and I was determined to finally get some good fireworks photos.

I caught a few of the big blasts and then I decided to try an experiment. I left my shutter open for an extra long time, and waved my camera around, pointing up towards the fireworks.

What resulted was something I dubbed “fireworks painting,” and it was instantly my favorite part of the fireworks presentation. I couldn’t wait to create more fireworks paintings again the next 4th of July.

Because my kids are always right next to me while I’m watching the fireworks, they are intensely curious about what I am doing while I’m waving my camera around in the 4th of July night sky. They want to try fireworks painting, too, but I’m not too keen about handing my camera over to kids outside in the dark.

“Painting” with flashlights

This year, I decided to let the kids do their own version of fireworks painting…with flashlights! And since we needed flashlights to find our way to our lawn chairs and back to the minivan in the dark, they were well prepared. I told them to point the flashlights straight at me and wave them around. It took a few instructions, but they caught on….and as soon as they saw the kinds of images they were creating by “painting the sky” with their flashlights, they wanted to try more and more.

I think we’ve found another 4th of July tradition.

Please Note: We are Rayovac Sponsored Bloggers. Our stories, experiences, and flashlight and firework painting photos are our own. You can find coupons and more at Rayovac’s Facebook Page.

Written by 5 Minutes for Mom managing editor Lolli. You can find me blogging at Better in Bulk and tweeting at @1momof5.

Email Author    |    Website About Lolli

Lolli is a busy mother of five kids, ranging in age from 8 to 16, photographer, and author of Better in Bulk. Her blog has a little bit of everything – parenting, life in a large family and photography with a central tie-in: Bringing moms together to learn, connect, and enjoy life. Connect with Lolli on Twitter (@1momof5) and on Facebook.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen July 8, 2011 at 9:54 am

We recently discovered what we call “light writing” and have been doing it a lot lately. I’ve never tried it with fireworks, but it sure is a lot of fun. I should probably let my kiddos get into it more though!


2 Lolli July 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I love that you’ve been doing it, too! I’m sure there’s a standard name for it, but whatever you call it, it sure is fun! :)


3 Laurie July 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

So super cool!!!! Pinning to my photog board :) TFS!!!!


4 Lolli July 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Great idea! Am I following you on pinterest? ;)


5 Laurie July 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I don’t think so, but I’d love for you to follow me on Pinterest! Here’s my link:


6 Lolli July 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Yay! Following you now. Here’s my page: http://pinterest.com/1momof5/


7 Melissa July 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Whoa! Those are amazing!


8 Lolli July 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Thank you! :)


9 Susan July 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I love those shots… so fun!


10 Robin July 8, 2011 at 11:04 pm

we are also playing with light writing too, it’s a lot of fun!!


11 Lisa July 10, 2011 at 3:18 am

Those are amazing pictures!! And fun for the kids too!


12 Rick July 16, 2011 at 3:25 am

Hey that is very cool flashlight play! Love the fireworks shots too. I was curious if you’ve discovered any problems with using strong LED flashlights with your “painting” process. These lights are very powerful and was wondering if it’s okay for kids to do this with LEDs. What do you think?


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