Tips for Shooting Fireworks

pfmastinJuly 2, 2009

This was in my newsletter from a local camera shop yesterday...in case anyone would find it helpful.

Tips for Shooting Fireworks:

* Bring a tripod and flashlight to the fireworks display. It's dark and you'll need longer exposures, so use the tripod to avoid blurry pictures. The flashlight will help you adjust your camera settings in the dark.

* Set your camera to Fireworks mode (if you have that feature), which will automatically take care of the settings. If you don't have Fireworks mode, set your camera to Manual mode: ISO 200, aperture f/8, and shutter speed between 5 and 15 seconds. After you take a few pictures, take a look at how they are turning out, and adjust the shutter speed accordingly (leave the ISO and f-stop alone).

* Include a landmark in the photo, such as a statue, stadium, park, lake, or whatever the surrounding area includes. As the fireworks explode, they will light up the landmark beautifully.

* Take a lot of pictures! You can take over 100 pictures and only keep 2 great ones. The more pictures you take, the greater chance you have of capturing the perfect shot. Be a ruthless editor; you only need one or a few photos to frame andshare!

* Remember that fireworks come fast and furious during the finale of the show. Therefore, you may need to decrease your shutter speed. 15 seconds will likely be overexposed during the finale. Try 5 seconds instead.

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rcnaylor

Good timely advice Pam.

Thanks for sharing it.

One of my problems is being patient enough. I want to swing over to the next big burst too soon.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 10:36AM
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kentuck_8b

Kt

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 10:04PM
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alisande

Guess you must have read the instructions, KT. Fabulous shots!!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 10:15PM
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kentuck_8b

Thanks. Pam gave some very helpful advice.

Kt

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 11:14PM
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rcnaylor

Very nice shots KT!

I was trying a different camera, and didn't follow Pam's advice well enough. Got a couple of decent ones but many weren't too hot. Oh, well, one of the conveniences of the digital age is photogs are like doctors and bury their mistakes.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 9:34AM
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pfmastin

Great pictures, kt!

This my first time photographing fireworks...Oh my gosh, it was SO much fun! I learned some lessons. I was almost too close for my lens length and got a lot of "partials". I changed my shutter opening time back and forth depending on how fast they were launching them. I'm looking forward to next year!

I'll post a few more when I get them converted.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 11:22AM
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kentuck_8b

Thanks, RC and Pam. Very nice shot Pam!

I prefer 2 or 4 second exposures, but sometimes will use a 1 second or even an 8 second exposure time depending on the particular fireworks and how fast that firework is.

I use 100 ISO and usually set the aperture to AUTO.

Kt

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 11:49AM
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pfmastin

Thank you kentuck,I ended up going with ISO 200 and f11.

Here are a few more..
(sorry for the size)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 2:58PM
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kentuck_8b

Excellent!! I particularly like the last one! However, they are all great!

Thanks for posting them.

Kt

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 3:03PM
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