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How to Shoot Pictures of Fireworks

With 4th of July fast approaching, many of you might want some advice on how to get good pictures of fireworks.
12 years ago, July 3rd 2009 No: 1 Msg: #78246  
With 4th of July fast approaching, many of you might want some advice on how to get good pictures of fireworks. Here's a great article: Fireworks Article Reply to this

12 years ago, July 4th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #78347  
For fireworks a TRIPOD is very important. Manually set your flash to Off, set your ISO at the lowest your camera allows and you're going to want to set your camera at a longer exposure (which means the shutter will remain open longer). Experiment with different settings, but don't move your camera once you've pressed the shutter!

*on the complete opposite end, if you haven't got a tripod, you can get pretty creative shots by just holding your camera and purposely moving/zooming in and out while the shutter is open.
Good luck and take lots of photos!

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12 years ago, July 25th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #80883  
N Posts: 5
I had the same question for this past 4th of July fireworks I was planning to attend and somewhere on the web, I came across this advice: ISO = 100, Aperature = F 14.0, and exposure set to 1.6 seconds. Also the above advice to use a tripod and no flash, and to trigger the exposure just before you expect it to go off, and just aim the camera at a specific spot in the sky, don't chase every one that goes off.

After taking my shots, following the above, I would add another: Don't get too close to the action!! I found that I was so close (w/ 55MM EFS lens) that I was continually changing the camera aim, as the fireworks, would shift slightly....and I think a bit further out would have prevented some of that. But I think the above advice is not a bad starting point, and then one can experiment from there......

If anyone is interested, the fireworks shots mentioned above can be viewed at: http://grizzlycreekflyfisher.smugmug.com/gallery/8793085_hyvFn#582132118_CpgeM
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12 years ago, January 2nd 2010 No: 4 Msg: #98142  
B Posts: 27
I've just been looking at the link on Team Turner's post and then went into other links showing the photos taken by those who commented on it. Some people explained how to take firework shots that didn't have "feathering". From the point of view of a non-photographer (just happy snaps for me) I prefer to see the photos as I see the fireworks and the feathering and beautiful coloured trails are a part of what makes the display look wonderful. When I look at the photos that are very sharp and, no doubt more technically better shots, I don't like them. They look too much like a painting of someone's idea of a firework- cold and clinical. For me, fireworks are about a blaze of active, incredibly bright and colourful bursts or trails, preferably with many going off together or producing a range of colours from one huge firework. We had some great ones this year from Sydney's New Year 2010 display (although I only saw them on TV from Melbourne and at times the bursts of light were so bright they swamped the TV camera's image). One day I must try and get up to see them live. I'm looking forward to seeing some people's photos of them. I just hope they can capture the excitement of the moment and not be as clinical as those I mentioned above. Reply to this

12 years ago, January 2nd 2010 No: 5 Msg: #98144  
B Posts: 27
I've also just checked out DanP's shots from the address above. My favourites are numbers 36, 56, 59, 80, 81, 83 and 103. I think the large fireworks would have looked better from further away. I like to see the whole head and a bit of black sky around it as a contrast. As I said before, though, I'm not a photographer - just a firework lover. Reply to this

12 years ago, January 3rd 2010 No: 6 Msg: #98202  
N Posts: 5
Thanks Dragonlady!. Of the ones you mentioned, I like 103 (and the similar ones 98, 99 that sort of look like flowers). If I ever get back to Sydney, would love to photograph fireworks in that scenic harbour setting, although I did get to experience some skywriting from a harbour tour boat the day I toured there!!


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12 years ago, January 3rd 2010 No: 7 Msg: #98209  
B Posts: 27
Yes, DanP, the Harbour does make it one of the best places in the world to see them. I like the way they set them off along the Harbour Bridge approaches, too, and from the tops of some of the tall buildings around. We also have quite a good display in Melbourne over the Yarra River and from the tops of some skyscrapers but we don't have the gorgeous cascade that they send down from the Harbour Bridge, or the lovely arch on the top of it which makes such a good platform for the display. Do you get to see them on TV in the US?

The skywriting happens here in Melbourne sometimes, too, usually in summer. We also get hot air balloons flying over the city early in the morning sometimes. (Not in firework season, of course!) Reply to this

10 years ago, July 4th 2011 No: 8 Msg: #139652  
1 posts moved to this new topic: Roll on 2012 Reply to this

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