July 4th over Pilsen from Lacuna Lofts

Fireworks over Pilsen from Lacuna Lofts

I’ve watched the neighborhood fireworks over Pilsen on July 4th from my balcony close to a dozen times now. But this year I wanted a change of perspective. Instead of looking south into Pilsen, I wanted to look north over the neighborhood towards the skyline. Thankfully, the team over at Lacuna Lofts was gracious enough to share their rooftop deck with me. The office building – featuring an eclectic mix of artist space, tech firms, and non-profit organizations – is perfectly located to help me achieve my goal.

The tough part about shooting neighborhood fireworks (as opposed to a sanctioned show) is that they’re coming from all directions. It’s hard to focus on any one area for too long, let alone get the right composition. Add in the fact that you never really know when they’re going to light-off there’s a lot of hoping and finger crossing involved. Inevitably, I end up bouncing my camera from spot to spot, missing a lot of good bursts just as I pull-off one location to focus on another. It’s a frantic way to shoot. But after 30 minutes or so, you get a feel for the groups with the ‘best’ fireworks and their timing. Luckily, there are so many fireworks going off in Pilsen for 4+ hours, you get…lucky.

Here are a few of my favorite shots. There are a couple composites and I even managed a few focus-pulls towards the end of the night.