Capturing fireworks is fun, capturing fireworks pictures are an example of beauty and excitement happening at the same time, but also a rather difficult moment to capture on camera correctly. Oftentimes the photographer is left with pictures of white streaks outlining a very black sky. The following are some tips that will help anyone photograph fireworks beautifully.
Arrive early to find the best location.
You need a location:
- Where the fireworks will be in front of you, not overhead.
- With a clear view.
You don’t want people’s heads in every photograph, nor do you want lights, the moon, branches and wires. Branches and wires may not be noticeable in your viewfinder if you arrive when it’s dark already. Also, avoid locations where a street light, or other light source, is shining on your camera lens. The light could create flare.
- Where landmarks can be included in the frame, as well as reflections on water.
- Where you can set up your tripod, and where no one will trip over your tripod’s legs.
If needed and possible, spread a blanket to mark the perimeter of your “studio.”
- Where you’re upwind from the display.
If the smoke is blowing towards you, the fireworks will be obscured.
2. Using Tripod
This is especially important in photographing fireworks simply because you’ll be using longer shutter speeds which will not only capture the movement of the fireworks but any movement of the camera itself. You should also make sure that your camera has a tripod mount on the bottom. Most digital cameras do, but there are some very small cameras that don’t have the tripod mount.
3. Use a cable release
When leaving the shutter open for multiple seconds you want to make sure you eliminate any natural hand shaking or vibrations. Pressing the shutter button manually may jog the camera, and a self-timer makes it all but impossible to get the timing rig.One way to ensure your camera is completely still during fireworks shots is to invest in a remote release device. These will vary from camera to camera but most have some sort of accessory made for them.
4. Camera settings
Shooting fireworks can be a bit of a lottery, but one way of improving your odds is to keep your settings consistent.
-Shoot in Manual Mode
To ensure that your lens doesn’t starting hunting back and forth for the focus point when you’re actually taking your shot, pre-focus on something light and on the ground that’s the same distance away as where the fireworks will be and then switch your lens to Manual focus to lock it in place. Auto focusing in low light can be very difficult for many cameras and you’ll end up missing a lot of shots. Once your focusing is set you’ll find you don’t really need to change it during the fireworks display – especially if you’re using a small aperture which increases depth of field.
Many people think you need a fast lens to get them but in reality it’s quite the opposite as the light that the fireworks emit is quite bright.Shooting fireworks can be a bit of a lottery, but one way of improving your odds is to keep your settings consistent. A tried and tested method is to select Manual mode and an aperture of around f/11 (when it comes to sharpness, the sweet spot of most lenses is between f/8 and f/13).
Use a low ISO. By using a low ISO, there’ll be less noise. Stick to ISO 100 and you should be fine.
Fireworks move and as a result the best photographs of them capture this movement meaning you need a nice long exposure. Open the shutter during the initial firework trail from the ground and keep the shutter open for multiple bursts. Usually about 3 seconds from start to finish.
-RAW & JPEG
Many cameras can save photographs as both raw and JPEG files. The advantage of raw files is being able to process them yourself. You can make adjustment to the exposure and white balance, as well as other settings. JPEG files are raw files that have been processed by the camera. They’re convenient. Saving in both file formats may slow down your camera, however.
5.Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!
The only way to capture the best firework photography is with practice. Play around with your settings and remember what worked best and what did not work at all.