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About Richard Kempton:
Firework Photographer

Richard Kempton has been photographing fireworks for nearly 20 years.

Richard explains: "At University I worked every summer at Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Each summer there were two major firework displays in the harbour: one for Cowes week, and the second for the August Bank Holiday Powerboating weekend. As a keen young photographer, I tried my hand at photographing the fireworks, and achieved some reasonable results. At least I thought so then."

 "I grew up in Devon, and really enjoyed the Ottery St Mary fire spectacular with tar barrels, but I always loved the firework displays best. When I lived in York after university, I saw some wonderful displays off Clifford's Tower and the Viking boat burnings. Awesome."

"However, my interest in photography waxed and waned, but eventually in 1999 I was in the right place at the right time - camera in hand - for the Plymouth firework championships. This time I had planned a bit, and was ready with black card and all the other things that websites recommended for taking good firework pictures."

"The shows were superb - and I got a raft-full of cracking slides. I offered some of the pictures to the firework companies, and they were complimentary and even bought some. I then started making annual pilgrimages to Plymouth, Southport and Shugborough. Fortunately, the latter two are both near my current home in Warrington, and Plymouth is an hour's drive from my parents.... so that's accommodation sorted!"

"In 2001, as the IT bubble burst, I was made redundant. And my wife made a big mistake... she asked what I wanted to do as a job. "Be a professional photographer - specialising in fireworks." was my instant answer. Amazingly, she let me go ahead and try for it. (thankyou)"

"And so here I am... over 4000 firework slides and 3 years later. I've travelled all around the UK from Plymouth to London to Darlington to Cardiff. In horizontal rain, in baking heat, half-frozen up a cherry-picker, hours and hours of waiting - all for 5 minutes of mad mayhem - and wonderful pictures."