So, what do you need to do if you’re planning to photograph fireworks? Here are some tips you may need to consider:
Bring the right equipment.
When shooting firework displays, it is always advisable to use a tripod. Since you will be using longer shutter speeds to capture all those sharp images, you need to make sure that your camera remains as rock solid as it possibly can. And relying on your hands to do the job can be a very challenging one, to say the least. Just how long do you think you can keep your hands steady? It just can’t work. Period. My advise – get a tripod.
Another necessary equipment that you need to bring along with you on location is a remote release device – wheter it be a cable or an RC unit. This will help ensure that there will be no unnecessary shakes as you release the shutter.
And please don’t forget to bring a flashlight with you. It’s really hard to fumble in the dark when you are trying to adjust your camera settings, right?
Lastly, don’t forget to pack in some spare batteries and memory cards. You’ll be shooting a lot of photos so it’s better to be prepared for any eventualities.
Get the best possible view.
To do this, you may need to visit the area at daytime so that you can plan well ahead of time. Scout for areas that offer a clear view of the spectacle that is about to happen. Consider sites that satisfy the following criteria:
- Free from all possible obstructions such as buildings, trees, cables or other people’s heads. A high vantage point such as the top of a roof or a hill will be ideal for such purposes.
- Includes a famous historical landmark that may help enhance your shots.
- Has a vast body of water. The fireworks’ reflection in the water can add drama to your photos!
All fireworks produce smoke and this can get between you and that perfect shot you’re aiming for. So, find out where the wind is blowing and pick a location that is not against it. This way, the smoke won’t affect the quality of your photos and you’ll get sharper, more vivid images.
Know the perfect settings.
To capture the best fireworks display photos, you may need to consider the following camera settings:
- Don’t use your flash. It will take the focus out of the bursts.
- Keep your ISO low (preferably at 100) to increase your chances of getting sharper images.
- If your camera has a fireworks mode, use it. If it doesn’t, don’t forget to keep your aperture at f/8 to f/16.
- Set your shutter speed between 1 to 15 seconds. But if you really want to capture some really good photos, use the bulb mode.
- You may use the infinity focus or the manual focus mode. Different experts have different opinions on this one so go ahead and see what works best for you.
- Keep shooting. It’s good to take a lot of pictures to increase your chances of getting that perfect shot.
- Track your results from time to time. Make sure you’re not shooting a batch of duds.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. Do you want to shoot from a wider perspective? Do you want to include silhouettes in the foreground? You can do these and more! Feel free to do whatever you want. Keep experimenting!
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