This was taken at the end of the 2005 200th anniversary of the death of Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar. Naval ships from all around the world assembled in the Solent off Spit Head to take part in the celebrations. This was during the display at the end, a 10,000 firework son et lumière re-enactment of Admiral Lord Nelson's victory. With music including Holst's "The Planets" booming from enormous speakers, it was watched by thousands of people along the Hampshire and Isle of Wight coasts. I was at Seaview, a small town just along from Ryde on the island, which is opposite Southsea Common where most of the action occured. We were outside, but the weather at the time was quite balmy, so no stamping around trying to keep warm.
I noticed that LHA-4 USS Nassau, a Tarawa class amphibious assault ship, had her stern doors open with the operating lights on, which added an interesting extra detail. I set up my 1D Mark II with a 300 2.8 lens attached to a heavy Gitzo tripod on the sea wall so I was slightly higher than the crowds. A Canon RS-80N3 Remote Switch is a good idea to stop any camera shake. I usually set the aperture to something like f8 or f11, as with open flash, some of the fireworks are very bright. The shutter speed is quite long and I often bracket with a stop or two over and under. This was 4 seconds, which alows for long trails that show the shape of the fireworks. The ability to check the images on digital, as opposed to film, is a great boon for this type of photography.
See more work by Patrick Eden