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Photography Tips for Fireworks

by Erin Peloquin on July 2, 2010 · 4 comments

Is photography on your agenda for those of you in the states this holiday weekend? Last year was the first time I put serious effort into photographing fireworks.  This year, I’m going to incorporate everything I learned into the my photo workflow:

  • Use a tripod. This is the key to crisp photos at night.  Using long shutter speeds means you will get more blur just from holding the camera with your hands.  Using a tripod will eliminate this camera shake.
  • Shutter Speed – the longer the better to capture light trails.
  • Bulb Mode – an easy way to control shutter speed. Set your camera mode to B and hold down the shutter button from the time you first see the firework.  Release the shutter button when the firework dissipates.  Or when the smoke starts – that’s a sure way to muddy up your image and reduce clarity.
  • ISO – as low as possible to avoid noise.
  • Aperture – use a medium to high number to get an aperture opening on the smaller side of the scale.  Using long shutter speeds will give you enough light to offset a low ISO and small aperture
  • I’m going to try, depending on my location and lens, to get a few really zoomed in shots like the one in this Digital Photography School article.
  • In the same DPS article, a reader described a technique of using a black foam core board to get multiple fireworks in one exposure.  If I’m feeling good about the way my shots are turning out, I’m going to try that more advanced method.  Have any of you ever done that?  Do you have any tips for me?
  • Read this page from Canon about fireworks photography tips. It’s very helpful!

Regardless of where you are, I hope you have a great weekend!  Make sure to link to your photos here if you get some good ones, and share your secret tips too!

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