Grapevine Lake water levels

Fireworks Exposure Value

We have a little challenge photographing fireworks at Lake Grapevine this year. As of today, August 4th, the lake is still 17.47 feet above the "Conservation Pool Elevation". The good news is the level is down 27 feet from a month ago and 2.3 feet from last week. The bad news is the parks will not reopen until September or October at the earliest. Meeting on the dam was not a good choice.

Fireworks exposure considerations were covered last year. It was definitely worthwhile re reading it. I'm used a 3 stop hard grad filter last week to better expose the reflections and the fireworks. It worked! The exposure was ISO 100, f / 5.6 for the reflections. The added 3 stops for the fireworks got the exposure 1100pxup to f / 16. The times ranged from 1 to 6 seconds.

The prevailing wisdom is ISO 100 @ F / 11. I think that blows out the color too much. The F / 16 does a better job keeping the color.

Equipment Requirements:

  1. Head lamp (best) or a flash light
  2. Camera
  3. Tripod
  4. Remote Shutter Release
  5. Lens
    1. Full Frame: 50mm - 200mm
    2. APS-c: 30mm - 125mm
    (From Rockledge Park last year the images ranged from 70mm to 105mm using a 70-200mm lens to include both the fireworks and the reflection. If just the fireworks are of interest then the 100-200mm range would be more useful.)



Grapevine Fireworks displays start at 9:30 p.m. and last less than fifteen minutes. The time to get your camera setup and aligned is before 9:30 p.m. We have several experienced photographers on this shoot to to help with any questions.



Arrive Rockledge Park about 8:00 PM.

Sunset pictures at 8:30 PM.

Blue Hour at 9:00 PM

Fireworks start at 9:30 Sharp!

Park closes about 10:00 PM.

Park fee: $5 per vehicle


It is about 1.2 miles from the fireworks launch location, a good distance for photography.