4th of July is just a few sleeps away and I know a lot of people are exciting and getting ready for the annual fireworks display, so I thought this would be a good time to write a short post on taking photographs of fireworks.
- Any camera with a manual setting is recommend, point and shoots like the Canon Gx series (G9, G10, G11 & G12) is perfect.
- When shooting fireworks, it’s a good idea to scout the place where you want to shoot to find the best vantage point. This way, you can compose your shot even before the event takes place.
- First you need to remember to disable or turn off your flash off, never ever think of using your flash.
- You definitely need a tripod.
- I set my lens to manual focus and set it to the infinity.
- Using a cable release or remote shutter release is highly recommended.
- I use the B or bulb mode.In bulb mode you have total control over the shutter and the shutter stays open as long as you hold the shutter button, and closes the moment you de-press it . I prefer this than setting the camera’s shutter speed so that I can choose when to stop or if I need to open the shutter a little bit longer. But if your camera doesn’t have the bulb option, you can play around and find out the best shutter speed for your shot.
- For maximum depth of field I set my aperture between f/11 to f/16 depending on the scene.
- For best results I try to keep my ISO to the lowest possible value, which is 100, sometimes I go up to 400, but that’s the highest I’d go.
- Lens and focal length, it depends on your location and on how you want to compose your shots. You can use an ultra wide angle lens to capture the whole scene, this is especially great if you are photographing fireworks right across waterfronts or boardwalks or even cityscape. You can use a telephoto lens when you want to zoom in capture the fireworks blast really close. And since I’m a zoom lens believer I recommend using zoom lens over prime, for versatility.
So there you go, my short list of tips for photographing fireworks. If you think I missed something, please let me know. I would love to hear your comments, questions, suggestions and critiques.
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