Shooting Fireworks

November 04, 2013  •  Leave a Comment
headermadmimitipsnew

fantastic fireworks...

It's almost time to stand in the cold - eating a hot dog and staring at the skies. Getting good shots of fireworks isn't as hard as you think. Last year lots of you loved this newsletter - So here again is a few tips on how to get the most out of this loud, (and colourful) time of year.

SAT24576

Henley Festival 2013

Bring a tripod

The best way to capture fireworks is by using a tripod but if you're at a public display it's probably not that practical. If you can’t bring a tripod, try to brace your camera against railings, walls or cars to keep steady.

Find a good location

It sounds obvious - but don't forget to get a spot where you can see in front of you as well as above you - it's good to be able to track the rocket so you can be ready for the explosion. 
* You don't want trees or other things in the way. 
* You could look for somewhere unique - like near water so you get the reflections. 
* Make sure you're not standing in the direction of the wind, or you may get smoked out!

Turn the flash off

Your flash isn't gong to help - however big it is - so make sure it's turned off. Why would you want to light up the sky anyway?

IMG_9617 - 2009-07-08 at 22-10-47

Kew Gardens

Use the self-timer

If you have brought a tripod with then use the self timer - set it to 2 seconds and press the shutter button. This will avoid any shake on the camera. Some cameras also have a remote control so you could use that instead.

Spare batteries & memory cards

You'll be snapping away like crazy - so bring spare memory cards and make sure your camera battery is charged - and if you have a spare then bring it too.

Use 'Fireworks' mode

Most compact cameras have 'scene' selections for a variety of situations - there's no shame in using them and they chose the best settings for your camera to get the best shots. Fireworks mode is almost certainly on there - and you will get really good results using this. You can experiment - take a few shots and see. You may be surprised.

IMG_0748

Focus on infity

If you have manual settings - turn off auto focus and put the lens on infinity. Almost certainly the fireworks will be exploding way further than your lens's maximum focus point so leave it on infinity and manual focus or it may 'hunt' for a focus while you're trying to get the shot. The infnity sign looks like this ∞.

Use a slow shutter

If you can get the camera into manual then use a slower shutter speed of around 2 to 3 seconds. Of course the longer you leave the shutter open the more 'trails' of light you will get. Dont get too many fireworks in one exposure though or it will look messy. Less can be more effective.

Take LOTS of photos

Shoot away - you can always delete the rubbish ones at home later - don't mess about deleting on the night or you may miss a shot. Shoot as many as you like and of course have lots of fun.

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Thanks for reading - I hope you've found something useful here. Have a fun and safe Bonfire night.

about me

I am a fully qualified member of the BIPP in Press & PR photography as well as a member of the Federation of European Photographers. The BIPP is the official qualifying body for professional photographers in the UK.

I am represented by the Stephen Bartels Gallery in London.

I have full public liability and insurance cover.

Thanks for reading - stay safe and have fun!

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