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06-28-2016, 10:24 PM   #31
pjv
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Enjoy the show Carol. I found this in my collection of tips, and hope it is of a little help to you.


Fireworks Photography Tips | Event Photography Tips

06-29-2016, 07:19 AM   #32
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pjv, thank you! That's an excellent link. I've bookmarked it, so I can read it thoroughly!
06-29-2016, 12:31 PM - 2 Likes   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
wear a hat...if you are downwind, those burning embers can land in your hair.

here are some of mine:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeoria/albums/72157662476749130
my usual tips are:

i use Bulb mode with a cable release. if you are open too long, you can easily blow out the bursts because fireworks are very bright, At low ISO, 1-4 sec shutters usually work well. any longer and the wind motion of the fireworks may start to introduce lateral blur.

About framing, if you are close wider focal length is better because you cannot usually predict where the bursts will be and it is better to crop than to have a whole bunch of partials. One July 4th, i started with my 28mm and had to change to 15mm because the show was much closer and spread out than i had expected. If shootinh from a distance, this is easy because there is almost no variation in location of the bursts, the only variable becomes maximum height.

i do a few more things in that i bring a piece of black card to cover my lens and open the shutter, then wait for a rising rocket to move into my frame and slide away the card to catch the burst without the tail. if i want two bursts on the same image (a double exposure), i will keep the shutter open but slide the card over the lens until another gets lined up where i want it and then i pull the card away. sounds more complicated than it is but after awhile you can really dial in what you want.

also, pause from shooting to try to actually enjoy the show once in awhile...we sometimes forget the experience when we are trying to capture it through a camera lens.

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If you are shooting against a city skyline or other subject matter, it can be tricky to get the buildings to be as bright as the firework display. Below, i did a bracketed exposure of 30sec just before the show started to properly expose for the skyline, and then a short 3-5 sec exposure of the burst and blended them in photoshop (using lighten or lighter color blend mode). It would be pretty tricky to capture all that dynamic range in a single exposure without losing detail, so this gets it cleaner, but a more advanced technique.

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06-29-2016, 10:01 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
pjv, thank you!

You are most welcome madam.

07-01-2016, 07:18 AM   #35
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I have the DA HD 15 Limited that i will try. I also have the DA10-17 Fish Eye, has anyone use this lens to shoot fireworks?
07-01-2016, 07:29 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
I also have the DA10-17 Fish Eye, has anyone use this lens to shoot fireworks?
Maybe today I will.

Not sure yet, if I am am going into the fireworks later this evening.
07-01-2016, 07:55 AM   #37
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The last time I shot fireworks, it was was with ASA 100 film in a handheld P3N. Some actually turned out pretty decent, if my memory hasn't failed me, I was shooting at 2 seconds. It's like light-painting where someone in the distance is using bright lights in ways you can't anticipate. Lots of good advice here, I will point out that if DOF is an issue, you are too close to the fireworks! You need narrow apertures to deal with bright fireworks and slow shutter speeds.

Any good fireworks choreographer mixes up the duration of individual rockets, but depending on how much smoke you want in your pictures, you have to decide if you want long exposures with several rockets in a single picture or shorter exposures (only 2-3 seconds) with clearly defined light patterns from only a few (or possibly a single) rocket. Assuming the entire display lasts more than a few minutes, experiment like crazy and decide the next day which experiments worked and which didn't. The odds are very good you will have lots of good shots to choose from. One of the big advantages of digital over film.
07-01-2016, 08:13 AM   #38
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may the luck be with you

Some great advice here and great photos as well. There are other creative ways to shoot f/w, and RGlasel and Matt both pointed out some techniques. You can also go much shorter exposure for a different look if your timing is really good (and/or you get lucky).

Here's one I took using 1/30s shutter speed. Pre-focused. ISO 200. DA *200mm lens.
Let me confess that this was a very lucky shot (see earlier comment about take lots of shots). Taken from top of Rockefeller Center (no tripods allowed). I didn't really know what I was doing (and still don't vis-a-vis fireworks) and I hadn't planned on shooting fireworks, I don't even know what the event was for which they were shooting off fireworks. My "tripod" was to hold my lens firmly against the glass surrounding "the Rock" viewing platform.




Last edited by carolina_sky; 07-01-2016 at 08:14 AM. Reason: grammar
07-01-2016, 07:32 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
Maybe today I will.

Not sure yet, if I am am going into the fireworks later this evening.
Let me know how it goes!
07-01-2016, 08:57 PM - 1 Like   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
Let me know how it goes!
I didn't in the end go to the fireworks.
Sorry.
07-02-2016, 11:57 AM - 2 Likes   #41
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Many thanks to everyone in this thread for your very useful advice. I went to the Canada Day fireworks last night at Ashbridges Bay in Toronto. There was a cold wind which kept the mosquitoes at bay but unfortunately ruffled the water so the wasn't much reflection. Apart from that I was very pleased with the results. I used my K-50 with the 18-135mm WR . 18mm wide at f14 and f18 then cropped because I wasn't sure where in the sky the fireworks would be. Tripod and bulb mode with a shutter release cable. Bright custom image setting (vs the tweaked version of natural I normally use). I shot the very first firework (not pictured) in P mode to get the focus in the right place, then switched the camera to manual focus and didn't adjust the focus again.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-50  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-50  Photo 

Last edited by eyrr; 07-02-2016 at 01:39 PM.
07-02-2016, 12:00 PM   #42
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Awesome, looks like pro work!!
07-02-2016, 12:47 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Awesome, looks like pro work!!
Thank you! Full credit to the Pentaxian hive-mind here for helping me do it!

---------- Post added 07-02-16 at 12:52 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by carolina_sky Quote
Some great advice here and great photos as well. There are other creative ways to shoot f/w, and RGlasel and Matt both pointed out some techniques. You can also go much shorter exposure for a different look if your timing is really good (and/or you get lucky).

Here's one I took using 1/30s shutter speed. Pre-focused. ISO 200. DA *200mm lens.
Let me confess that this was a very lucky shot (see earlier comment about take lots of shots). Taken from top of Rockefeller Center (no tripods allowed). I didn't really know what I was doing (and still don't vis-a-vis fireworks) and I hadn't planned on shooting fireworks, I don't even know what the event was for which they were shooting off fireworks. My "tripod" was to hold my lens firmly against the glass surrounding "the Rock" viewing platform.

Skill or luck that is one stunning shot.
07-02-2016, 07:58 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
If there is a nice landscape to go with them, I try to shoot as much as I can while there is still a little dusk light. Those have always been my favorites. And if you can get a different angle than what everyone else shoots, that can help.
If I'm using some ambient light I use Av, Tv, M, or even TAv and set the aperture to get a 10-20s exposure that's correct for ambient and then hit the shutter (with 2s timer) when I see them launch one. Rinse and repeat! (see exif on FLickr for details)

For these two I got on top of nearby mountains for a different angle.




Then if just regular fireworks get tiresome, try zooming during the exposure for fun effects. Also changing focus can make some interesting images.





What lens are you using for these amazing shot!
07-02-2016, 09:38 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Themdragons Quote
What lens are you using for these amazing shot!
Thanks, I think if you click through to FLickr all the EXIF should be intact.
But off the top of my head the first was the Tamron 28-75/2.8, then the SMC DA 40 and the zoomed ones were with the DA* 60-250.
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