Written by: Tiffany Joyce
Shooting Fireworks!Fireworks! As a kid, they were one of the most amazing things ever. They still are, only that I’m against fireworks on Diwali because everyone does them and that really isn’t very good for either the environment, or the people. Commercial displays however, are still OK from an environmental point of view, and FABulous from a photographer’s point of view. And with 4th July just around the corner, there will be many of us wanting to capture the spectacular fireworks displays everywhere.
So, here are some excellent tips on photographing fireworks… Below is a link to one of the most complete posts I’ve read with tips for shooting fireworks, written by Darren Rowse of Digital Photography School. It made no sense to write another one when there was a complete and well written one there already I’ll summarise it briefly however:
1. Use a TRIPOD! Or at least some form of support to stabilise your camera.
2. Use a Remote or Cable shutter release to minimize camera shake.
3. Look for a good Vantage Point, and make an effort to get a good frame for your shot.
4. Focus close to infinity for best results. You can zoom for tighter frames, but a cropped wide shot can give similar results.
5. In order to avoid burning out the colours, use an aperture range of f/8 to f/16.
6. Use Bulb mode to time your shutter. If you don’t have a bulb mode, set a long exposure time on your camera in order to capture the full burst. Remember, the longer the exposure time, the smaller aperture you need to use to avoid over-exposure.
7. Use an ISO of 100 or lower to avoid noise.
8. Avoid flash unless you’re wanting to highlight a foreground element such as a statue. The flash won’t help with the fireworks, and if anything, will highlight the smoke.
9. Use manual mode for better control over the situation
10. Experiment with different frames, different elements, different orientations etc. Also, check your shots after every few to ensure that they’re all proper, but don’t do it after every shot or you’ll miss the action.
At the end of the post are some tips from the readers which are also pretty helpful. You can read the compete post here: How to photograph fireworks displays.
P.S. You can also try ‘light-painting’ with sparklers if your state allows consumer fireworks. See the image below for an example. If you are not aware of how to do this, I’ll be putting up a post soon
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