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Fire works photography

WalidD300 9 68 1 Scotland
30 Oct 2009 12:02AM
It is nearly 5th Nov where fireworks are held in Glasgow

Can you recommend/Advice of any techniques/settings you may have tried


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Slippery_Jim 10 597 England
30 Oct 2009 12:19AM
Tripod, wide angle lens, cable release, high F stop to maximise DOF, up to you as to shutter speed, slow shutter speed for catching multiple bursts with plenty of streaks etc.....

just my 2 penneth
astrostu 8 9 United States
30 Oct 2009 12:39AM
Definitely a tripod and cable release / remote. I recommend a small aperture, as well, but for a different reason: You'll want to take relatively long (~few seconds) exposures. I've tried the fast ones with very little success.

Otherwise, fireworks - for me - are very hit-or-miss. The last time I tried to photograph them (2006) I took about 120 photos. I kept about a dozen. My three best are here.
LensYews 9 1.3k 1 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2009 1:08AM

Quote:Tripod, wide angle lens, cable release, high F stop to maximise DOF, up to you as to shutter speed, slow shutter speed for catching multiple bursts with plenty of streaks etc.....

Get there early, find an unobstructed view (remembering there may be crowds in front of you later), and if you can find out about the display from the organisers.

and a torch, so you can set the camera up in the dark. Manual mode, low ISO, flash off. Perhaps, portrait mode on a wide angle setting. watch the sky where you've focused rather than the camera's viewfinder or live view.

long ish exposures using blub mode, opening the shutter just before the explosion and closing as the firework starts to fade, or extend and try and capture a few explosions on the same image (beware of leaving the shutter open too long or you will get over exposure).
discreetphoton 13 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2009 8:49AM
Find a vantage point that has a recognisable feature in the forground. Most firework photos fail because there's a lot of dead space. Try to compose an image that works without the gunpowder. The rockets will accentuate it, and you'll get a stronger image. I shoot mine in bulb mode, with manual pre-focusing. You can lock the shutter open, and use something to cover the lens in between explosions. This will allow you to build up the amount of colour in the photo by uncovering the lens for each burst. The trick is to work out the correct exposure time without any fireworks first. Then you can make sure that as you uncover the lens, you count up the seconds each time so that you don't burn out your frames.
Pete Plus
16 18.8k 97 England
30 Oct 2009 8:54AM
Technique here: Firework photography
LensYews 9 1.3k 1 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2009 8:08PM
Amazing what's hidden away in the EPZ archives
miptog 12 3.6k 61 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2009 8:15PM

Quote:Amazing what's hidden away in the EPZ archives

Its a veritable Aladdin's Cave. You just have to find the right lamp to rub! Smile
rowarrior 10 4.4k 9 Scotland
30 Oct 2009 8:39PM
Given how it's throwing it down here right now, wellies would be a good addition to your arsenal, seriously, you'll be standing on grass that has dire drainage (and as this particular grass is less than a mile away I imagine you might not even be able to see it right now!) The Green gets packed for fireworks night, and I mean stowed out, can't move, packed, you'll struggle to get a good viewpoint without half a dozen people trying to stand on you.

Now a good place, away from the crowds, would possibly be Monteith Row above the People's Palace - solid paved ground, with a good backdrop. You'll have to get there very early though as they close off a LOT of the surrounding area to herd people in away from the fireworks. You will probably miss the ground level fireworks from up there, but should have better access to the sky. If I wasn't in Pitlochry that night I'd join you, have fun!

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