The Tiny Guide To Capturing Fireworks In Their Total Glory – part 1

So, how did the photos of those fireworks turn out? For those that needs a little help from their friends, here are 11 tips on capturing fireworks on film.

1. Bring a tripod, bring a tripod, bring a tripod.

Good fireworks photos require long exposures, and the optimal way to achieve that is to make use of a sturdy tripod. If not, do what you can, support your camera against railings, walls, or even cars to keep it stable and steady.

2. Bring a flashlight, charged batteries, and plenty of empty memory cards

The location for the launch of the fireworks is bound to be dark, furthermore, you will probably change the settings on your camera many times to experiment with what will give you the best results, thus, bring a flashlight along. Don’t forget to empty out your memory cards (And bring a couple just in case!) and keep those batteries charged!

3. Location, location, location.

There’s going to be plenty of people and once the action starts, you are probably not going to have the chance to move around swiftly with so much equipment. Thus, the trick is to determine the best position early on. As they say, the early bird captures the worm, or in our case, the fireworks. So,

  • Start scouting for a location early – 3 or 4 hours before the start of the event, that’s before the crowd starts to slowly trickle in.
  • Look for a place with an unobstructed view of the sky. Remember, you want to see fireworks in front of you, not above you.
  • Watch out for trees and buildings which could block your view, and street lamps and other lighting which might make your exposures tricky.
  • Try to find landmarks or other interesting things you can use to make your compositions more interesting.
  • Try to find a unique vantage point: near a body of water that will reflect the fireworks, high up where the fireworks are at eye-level (on a rooftop, balcony, or bridge), etc. Get creative and go where other people aren’t.
  • Remember that tripods work best on stable, level footing, and cameras work best when people aren’t likely to walk in front of them during long exposures.
  • Fireworks give off a fair amount of smoke. Make sure the wind isn’t headed in your direction or the smoke will obscure your view.

4. Turn your flash off

5. Drop your ISO to 50 or 100

Your ISO determines the camera’s sensitivity to light. In low light conditions, a higher ISO is ideal, however for long exposure shots, a high ISO can results in a “dirty” photograph due to noise. As such, the best setting would be within the region of 50 to 100. Play around and find one that suits you best!

One Response to “The Tiny Guide To Capturing Fireworks In Their Total Glory – part 1”
  1. Lilly says:

    thanks for the wonderful tips !! 🙂

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