Tonight I’m going to work on getting some better photos of fireworks. I’ve tried it before and didn’t have much success.
I did some research and these tips are recommended:
- Go early and locate a great spot where you can set up a tripod or put your camera on something solid, such as a rock wall.
- Use the fireworks setting or the night setting so the shutter will be open longer.
- Use a low ISO, such as 100 ASA.
- Turn off the flash and auto focus, if you can. Put your focus on infinity.
- Leave the shutter open for 30 to 40 seconds to capture multiple bursts. Cover the lens between bursts to cut down on the amount of ambient light that shows up.
- Use a remote release to engage the shutter, if you have one, to keep from jiggling the camera when you press the shutter.
I'll post some photos after the fireworks show.
Here are some references if you'll be trying to photograph fireworks tonight:
“Explosions in the Sky: Take Better Fireworks Photos” – wired.com
“How to Take Great Digital Photos of Fireworks” – Digital Photography
“Tips for Taking Perfect Fireworks Shots” – wtop.com
Update: The fireworks photo experience was challenging. I hadn't been to the Tumwater fireworks for years, so I didn't know exactly where to go. I picked a spot, but trees were in the way when the fireworks started. I moved to where there were fewer trees, so that worked better. I tried the suggestions above, but my photos didn't turn out like those in the articles I read. When I set the camera on "Manual," the photos were dark. When I switched to "Apeture," I got something, but the shutter speed was very slow. The fireworks look very white in my photos, not like they actually appeared. We have Lakefair coming up in two weeks, so I'll try again.
Update 2: On the final day of Lakefair, I set out again to work on my techniques for photographing fireworks. The results were better. I used a telephoto lens, set it on infinity, opened the shutter to f4.5, and used an ISO of 100. Although my photos were better, many of them were too white. I'll practice more next year. See my article, "More on How to Take Photos of Fireworks," to take a look at my photos.