For the first few weeks in July, night skies on both sides of the Atlantic are lit up by spectacular fireworks -- from America's 4th July to Bastille Day in France, with a host of international fireworks competitions in between. To honor this pyrotechnic frenzy, we asked you to send us some of your sparkiest fireworks shots from across the world.
Marcia Taylor's day job, as a British Airways' cabin crew member, takes her all over the world -- but the 27-year-old never travels anywhere without her camera. Believe it or not but this was her first time shooting fireworks. She traveled to Paris especially for the fireworks on Bastille Day last year.
"It was a disco theme, the music started and as soon as the fireworks began the crowd had a fantastic atmosphere, every single person was on their feet singing along not taking their eyes of the fireworks," she says. Courtesy of Marcia Taylor
Photographer Martin Castellan, 62, took this color cascading photo of the Bastille Day fireworks in the city of Carcassonne in the south of France. Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14 and commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris in 1789 -- an event which triggered the French Revolution.
Mr Castellan says the city's 11th century castle was built by the Cathars, a Christian sect seeking protection from the Pope's armies, and in 1991 it doubled for Nottingham in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves film. Courtesy of Martin Castellan
Daniel Kahan Patu snapped this photo of the Bastille Day fireworks from his in-laws' home in Paris. The 30-year-old art director says he could smell the smoke from the fireworks that were two kilometers away, just by standing near the apartment window. Courtesy of Daniel Kahan Patu
Min Zaw Mra is originally from Yangon in Myanmar but in 2003 he was doing an internship in Nice, France. When the fireworks festival in Cannes was on that summer he decided to go armed with his camera.
"They were, by far, the best fireworks displays I have ever seen. I remember vividly how I felt watching these fireworks. The sky was so beautifully lit by amazing shapes and colors. The background music made it so much more special. Seeing these fireworks made me feel like I was in a fantasy world in a fairy tale," says the 33-year-old computer software developer.Courtesy of Min Zaw Mra
This beautifully composed photo of the Montreal skyline was taken by Mark Connor from the rooftop of a friend's apartment block during the annual Montreal fireworks competitions. The photo shows the Jacques Cartier Bridge, the Old Palace de Justice and the old Town Hall. Courtesy of Mark Connor
Between 1575 and 1577 a horrible plague swept through Venice, killing one-third of the city's inhabitants. When the epidemic was halted the Senate, thanking the Redeemer Jesus Christ for answering its prayers, started an annual festival. Today, the Notte del Redentore is a great excuse for a party with fireworks. Local Stefano Baliello managed to capture this shot while hanging on to the railing of a boat among the thousands of revelers in July 2009. Courtesy of Stefano Baliello
"Fireworks never fail to amaze me. One might say that everything there is to a firework is just a can of chemicals that produces bright light when exploded in mid-air. However, when choreographed properly as in this case with the London Eye, it creates a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime show that everyone can enjoy and talk about with their friends for years to come," he says. Courtesy of Kenneth Ngyuwai
Rob Watling taught himself to take photos of fireworks when he decided to work part-time for Britannia Fireworks. He took this spectacular shot at the Southport Pyromusical Championships in summer of 2012. "There's a bit of an art to it (and quite a lot of luck!) but I really enjoy the challenge of trying to convey the movement and combination of the different fireworks," the 57-year-old Executive Coach says. Courtesy of Rob Watling
Every year Montreal celebrates summer with a series of magnificent fireworks displays by countries from all over the globe. For Mingyang Sun, the 29-year-old molecular biologist who took this photo of Pont Jacque-Cartier in Old Port Montreal, the fireworks act as a reward to the people of the city who have been anticipating summer after the long winter. "The firework decorating the night sky of this romantic city is one of the most celebrated events of the locals," he says. Courtesy of Mingyang Sun
Travis Tyler captured this stunning moment when fireworks lit up the skies over Seattle on Fourth of July in 2009. Travis was standing on Alki Beach in West Seattle and had the perfect view of the iconic Space Needle.courtesy of Travis Tyler
Bacolod City in the Philippines has a yearly celebration for the Chinese New Year called Bacolaodiat. "Bacolaodiat is a combination of two words - Bacolod and laodiat which means festive in Chinese," says 61-year-old local resident and businessman Billy Lopue.
The photo was taken on January 23 in 2012, which was the year of the dragon. "The place was crowded with people also waiting for the fireworks display," he added. Courtesy of Billy Lopue
Dan Anderson managed to capture the moment his nephew launched a bottle rocket across one of Minnesota's many lakes, Lake Kronis, during the Fourth of July in 2012. They had carefully prepared everything to take the perfect photo, counting the seconds it took from lighting the fuse to the explosion of the firework and arranging the camera on a tripod. "We did it in one take and then ran away because the mosquitoes were eating us alive," he says.courtesy of Dan Anderson
Marlon Flores from Morganville, New Jersey, started shooting fireworks two years ago and he is now hooked. For this year's Fourth of July he was determined to get a super snap of Macy's firework display in New York City. "Empire State is a nickname for New York and is generally thought of as an American history landmark. I thought that capturing the landmark during the Fourth of July fireworks is one way of seeing how great America is," says the 39-year-old IT consultant. courtesy of Marlon Flores
Paul Ringsted was quite surprised when he saw that he had managed to capture the moment a plane flew just in front of the fireworks display in Washington DC.
"I was amazed that I had captured the plane just at the right moment - we had been talking on the roof about the planes coming across the fireworks and how close they must have been, I had no idea I had this shot until I looked through the photos afterwards, " says Mr Ringsted who is originally from the UK but has lived in the U.S. for 16 years. To him the most special thing about Fourth of July is seeing America come together to celebrate its history.courtesy of Paul Ringsted
Frank Vitucci, 37, took this colorful photo during this year's Fourth of July fireworks display at the New York Mets Citi Field ballpark. "The game was delayed two hours, so I had to wait until 12:30am to capture the images. I had just enough time to catch my train back to Connecticut," says the Director of Photography. courtesy of Frank Vitucci
Photographer Edmund Lowe captured this stunning photo of the fireworks over Legoe Bay, Lummi Island in Washington State on the Fourth of July in 2011. "Fireworks make adults turn into kids again," he says. He also has some great tips for those wanting to capture iconic fireworks shots:
"The main requirement is a tripod, I use a sandbag or some other heavy object to make sure there is no tripod shake. Long exposures, up to ten seconds are required. I generally use an f-stop of f/11 to f/16 and a shutter speed of two-ten seconds. The longer exposures will also give you time for multiple reports to be visible. This fills the sky with the sparkles."courtesy of Edmund Lowe
This photo was taken on May 12, 2013 at Disney World's Magic Kingdom at the daily fireworks show called the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. "The fireworks were well synchronized with the music being played in the background and was arranged in a manner that all visitors will get a good view with the castle as the backdrop," says Kenneth Ngyuwai from Daytona Beach, Florida who captured the castle in all its glory.courtesy of Kenneth Ngyuwai
Technical Sergeant Ernel R. Carty Jr. of the United States Air Force captured the light of the spinning Ferris wheel at the Fourth of July celebrations at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. "It was spectacular for a multitude of reasons. To begin, it was a military celebration that opened with the German and American National Anthems. Just the opening itself set the stage for what my family and I thought were one of the most patriotic and spectacular firework displays that we have ever had the pleasure to see. The display lasted for at least 30 minutes of non-stop fireworks," said the 31-year-old who is originally from Belle Glade, Florida. Courtesy of Ernel R. Carty Jr.
Tom Johlen took this photo during the Japan Day in Düsseldorf. It's a German-Japanese festival held every year in May or June. There are around 8,000 Japanese living in Düsseldorf, and the city celebrates it by arranging this festival. During the day there are music and art performances on stage and at night a Japanese firework display starts. "I like the beautiful colors and the different designs and forms of the fireworks," he says.Courtesy of Tom Johle