The Lightning Bug is a fascinating new device that allows photographers to get the most out of their firework photo sessions. The Lightning Bug detects the infrared burst that is set off a split second before the fireworks explode their colors into the night sky. The infrared burst triggers the Lightning Bug, which then trips the shutter of the camera. The sensitivity of the Lightning Bug can be adjusted to correctly detect bright fireworks as well as faint fireworks. It can also delay the shot for a few seconds after detecting the infrared burst, allowing the firework to fully develop. In addition, the Lightning Bug can take up to ten shots per second (depending on the capabilities of your camera). This is a very handy feature during a flurry of pyrotechnics in a grand finale. As its name implies, the Lightning Bug can also be used to capture beautiful photos of lightning strikes (please be cautious and do so at your own risk).
I have had the privilege of creating a small portfolio of firework images using the Lightning Bug. I started in December of 2014 at Holidays in Halifax (MA). This annual festival celebrates the Holidays in a series of town wide events culminating with a winter fireworks show! I was thrilled to use the Lightning Bug, because it did all of the work; allowing me to keep my gloves on and my fingers warm.
ISO 1600 f2.8 1/25″
Nikon 24-70 f2.8 29mm
In June, 2015, I visited Bass Harbor, ME for their lobster boat races. This exciting event was kicked off with a firework show that was sponsored in large part by the local fisherman. They had raised $10,000.00 to put on one heck of a show! I found this to be a wonderful and unique setting in Downeast Maine. The fisherman were very curious about what I was doing and they were very friendly. Some of them even offered to take me out on their boats. With a few hundred spectators throughout the harbor, the firework display was a stunning way to kick off the summer.
On the 4th of July, 2015 I photographed the firework show in Middleboro, MA. This show is always fantastic and it has the added bonus of being displayed above a carnival! Scouting which rides to use as a foreground was the hardest task of the evening. Once I had selected a few glowing neon amusement rides, I simply had to turn on the Lightning Bug and wait for the show to begin. Fortunately, the fireworks rolled off at a steady pace, which allowed me plenty of time to switch back and forth from the various rides. My favorite part of the evening came when the finale started over the midway. Seeing so many fireworks bursting at once over the colorful rides was certainly unforgettable!
The Lightning Bug is produced by MK controls. They have a fantastic website explaining all of the features of this technology. You can visit it here: http://mkcontrols.com/
Hunt’s Photo and Video is currently offering the Lightning Bug for $179.00. Be sure to order the cables that are made for your camera. You can order directly from Hunt’s by clicking on this link https://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/detail_page.cfm?productid=LIGHTNINGBUG&mfg=MK%20Controls&show=yes