Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Tips On Shooting Fireworks With Your DSLR

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

55% OFF new PortraitPro 12 - use code EPHZROS414.
Category: Landscape and Travel

How to Photograph Fireworks - Mark Elliott of Better Photos shares his advice on shooting fireworks.

Posted:
Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off
Mark Elliott from Better Photos. Better Photos runs group courses and provides personal tuition in digital photography in the Lake District.

Fireworks

With Bonfire Night on its way, here are some tips for taking spectacular firework photos with your DSLR camera. This method is not the only way to photograph fireworks but it is very effective and easy. So, get someone to light the blue touch-paper, stand well back and follow these steps.

The set up

  1. Use a tripod and a cable release to prevent camera shake.
  2. Set your ISO to the lowest setting to reduce digital noise.
  3. Set your focus to manual and then turn focus to infinity (look for the figure of eight symbol lying on its side).
  4. Set your aperture to f/11.
  5. Turn off your flash.
  6. Set your camera to the 'Bulb' setting. (This varies between cameras - so please refer to your manual. When 'Bulb' is set, the shutter stays open whilst you hold down the shutter completely, and closes when you let go of the shutter button).
  7. Consider including buildings or other structures for a stronger composition.

Where to get the best photos

It's easier to obtain impressive firework photos at large events. Check the internet and local press to find large, organised firework displays.

Get there early to scout the location and find the best viewpoints.

Photographing the action

Using the above guidelines and the 'Bulb' setting, press your shutter at the start of the firework explosions and let go of the shutter when they subside. Try 5 and 10 second exposures as a start point. You can capture multiple explosions by keeping your shutter open and holding a piece of black card in front of your lens when the action subsides (blocking out the light), and then removing it from the lens to capture the next explosions.

Things to bear in mind

  • Leaving the shutter open for long periods of time can result in parts of your photograph becoming overexposed. This is not likely to be a problem if you are pointing your camera at the night sky. However, if street lights, illuminated buildings or other structures are featured in the frame, then leaving open the shutter for long periods may result in these parts of your image becoming 'blown out' (losing all detail). If this happens, reduce the amount of time that you hold open the shutter.
  • Images taken with long exposure times (very slow shutter speeds) often contain digital noise. If switched on, your camera's noise reduction processor might activate after you take each shot, causing a slight delay before you are able to press the shutter again. You might also need to use noise reduction software to further clean up your images when you edit them on your computer.
  • At such slow shutter speeds anyone positioned within the frame will show motion blur if they move whilst the shutter is open.
  • It's going to be dark, so take a small torch to help set your camera and pack away your gear.
  • Have a great Bonfire Night.
Words and images by Mark Elliott from Better Photos

Firework explosion







Find out more about Tamron's products by clicking these links:  
 



Explore More

Lens Choices For Landscape Photography

Make The Most Of Your Lenses For Scenics

Here's ePHOTOzine's guide for lenses in the landscape and a ...

Pier Photography Advice

Tips On Photographing Piers

If you're heading to the coast over the Easter weekend here ...

Drag Landscape Technique

Shoot A Spring Drag Landscape

Shots don't always have to be sharp and perfect in fact drag...

Comments

RWPhotoGraphix
RWPhotoGraphix e2 Member 5322 forum postsRWPhotoGraphix vcard United Kingdom
31 Oct 2011 - 12:23 AM

Just wat I was looking for, thanks Smile

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links 
1 Nov 2012 - 8:12 PM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

rhys47
rhys47 e2 Member 5rhys47 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Nov 2012 - 8:12 PM

I have not tried photographing fireworks using the bulb and black card method so looking forward to giving it a go this year.
Thanks for the tutorial
Regards Rhys47

- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Username:
Password:
Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.