Photographs of fireworks are fun to take
and good to look at. As with so many successful photographs, a little
advance planning is necessary to ensure success. If planning to get
fireworks photography at a public display, get there early. It makes no
difference what the weather is like: even in pouring rain people will
flock to see a first class display. Once in position, try to find out
where the fireworks will go off.
Many of the most successful shots of
fireworks, especially of rockets or other aerial displays, are in fact
multiple exposures. There are two ways to achieve these shots. In
either case the camera should be set on a tripod and a cable release
fitted. Try to ensure that no one will jostle the camera – this can be
difficult in a crowd. Point the camera at the place where the rockets
are expected to explode.
If the camera has a multiple exposure
device, take two or three shots of the rockets. For ISO 100 the correct
exposure is in the region of 2 seconds at f5.6.
If the camera will not take multiple
exposures, set the aperture to the same size but turn the shutter ring
to the B or T setting. Have a lens cap or some other device ready for
covering the lens. Before the rockets go off, cover the lens and fire
the shutter. If using the B setting, keep the cable release depressed.
When the rockets explode, take off the cap for about 2 seconds, and
then replace it. Repeat this two or three times, then close the shutter
by letting go of the cable release (for B) or pressing it again (for
Photographs of individual fireworks can be quite effective. Depending on the brightness of the firework, an exposure of 2 to 4 seconds at f5.6 will probably be right. Adjust the aperture size accordingly to the brightness of fireworks.
Flash can also be used for fireworks shots to light something else in the foreground. The exposure could be around 5 seconds at f8. The flash set at f8 to correctly illuminate the boy, while the rest of the exposure time recorded the trail of the sparkler.
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