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Video: A rare, unique view of fireworks launching and igniting from a barge

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Every year, the United States celebrates its birthday on July 4th. In practically any town, large or small, fireworks are launched in celebration of the country’s independence. While some displays are captivating, there are many more amateur efforts in play. Furthermore, most people tend to capture them with a smartphone.

Luckily, New Hampshire native Ron Risman has neighbors with a pyrotechnic expert in the family. He was given the go-ahead to place a Go Pro HERO8 camera between explosives on the barge so it could capture them, launching and igniting, from a unique angle. Titled ‘Finale,’ the three-and-a half minute clip provides the point of view as if you were sitting in the thick of it.

A Go Pro HERO8 camera (bottom-left) was carefully mounted on a barge to capture the fireworks being launched into the sky.

‘I felt this could be an interesting perspective as long as the GoPro was able to expose properly for the fireworks. I set the Go Pro HERO8 to record in 4K/60p resolution with a wide lens and 2-stops underexposed. The exposure setting worked out perfectly to capture the color and beauty of the explosions,’ Risman tells DPReview.

To stabilize the camera for smoother footage, the GoPro was placed into a an X-PWR H8 cage that was mounted to a magic arm. That arm was then mounted to a Platypod Pro to give it additional surface and stability. This was all nailed to temporary plywood on the dock so that it wouldn’t move when nearby explosives ignited.

The GoPro was connected to an external battery pack using a 3BR Powersports X-PWR H8 external power cable. The only shortcoming in the planning process came down to a matter of time: a 128GB microSD card can only record for two-and-a-half hours at 4K/60p.

The Go Pro HERO8 survived the launch site on the barge (pictured).

Recording began at 7:20 pm, as the barge started floating out on the lake. The action concluded around 9:20 pm, meaning he was able to capture everything he wanted last night. ‘By the end of the show I had no idea whether the camera survived or whether or not the camera was still recording, but fortunately everything went as planned and the footage captured was as spectacular as I had hoped it would be,’ Risman adds.

Risman edited the footage using Adobe’s Premiere Pro on his MacBook Pro. He watched the footage at both regular speed and 4X slow motion before settling on an edit that highlights the latter for more of an impact. The soundtrack ‘Fractured Time’ by Cody Martin was licensed via Soundstripe. All in all, this is truly a fitting ‘finale’ for a long Holiday weekend.


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