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06-28-2016, 10:14 AM   #1
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Shooting fireworks with K3

Mind sharing your tips, settings, lenses used for shooting Fireworks?

Thanks!

06-28-2016, 10:21 AM   #2
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WIth the lenses you have I'd say:
Manually prefocus
18-55 @ 18mm
f/8-f/16 to get the whole fireworks in focus
0.5-3s
ISO is what is needed (200-800?)
Edit: ISO 100... My brain was asleep when I wrote this?

Set your camera on interval shooting for minimum delay between photos (3 seconds) and to take hundreds of photos (you can stop it partway through at the end of the show).

Then sit back and enjoy the show

Last edited by bertwert; 06-28-2016 at 01:01 PM.
06-28-2016, 10:31 AM   #3
csa
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The lower the ISO, I believe is better. 100-200.

Also I probably will use Bulb.

I was just curious what others have used.
06-28-2016, 10:37 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
The lower the ISO, I believe is better. 100-200.
Yes. But depending if your lens is stopped down more (f/16 to allow more focus) and not that long SS you need to be able to let enough light in.

QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Also I probably will use Bulb.
That could work as well.
Holding open the shutter just for the duration of firework.


Hardest parts of fireworks (I find) is focusing.

06-28-2016, 10:48 AM - 1 Like   #5
klh
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Lots of good advice here already.

Use a tripod with a remote shutter to avoid camera shake. Also, I would highly recommend a wide prime to get a sharp photo (I really like the DA21 for this, and it is going pretty cheap these days). Definitely set ISO 100, and I use f/11 with 3-5s exposure. Bulb will also work fine, especially if the fireworks are the only source of light. Just keep the shutter open to capture whatever you like. I try to listen to the mortars and open the shutter just before they burst. Be sure to focus carefully on something in the far distance. Take lots of shots and show only the best so people will think you're really good.


Last edited by klh; 06-28-2016 at 11:08 AM.
06-28-2016, 10:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by klh Quote
Take lots of shots and show only the best so people will think you're really good.
I like your thinking!

" Also, I would highly recommend a wide prime to get a sharp photo "

I have to use the lenses I currently have. Probably the 18-55 WR, as that's the widest I have.
06-28-2016, 11:07 AM   #7
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When I shot them (on film), I used a tripod, ISO 100 (the lower, the better to get the sky black), f/8, and for shutter speed (I think) either 'B' and a cable release or else something fairly long, like 8 seconds. You want a long exposure to get a "flower", rather than a circle of dots. Open the shutter just as you see the rocket going up.

Of course, which lens depends on how close / how far you are from the show. But at f/8, anything in your sig should work. Unfortunately, modern AF lenses tend to focus past infinity, which makes it harder to just focus manually at infinity and leave it.

I never graduated to the advanced stuff, where you have something interesting illuminated (and properly exposed) in the foreground, with fireworks and black sky in the background.

Last edited by THoog; 06-28-2016 at 12:48 PM.
06-28-2016, 11:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
Of course, which lens depends on how close / how far you are from the show.
I'll be pretty close; as it's neighbors shooting the fireworks, not a regular show.

06-28-2016, 11:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
I have to use the lenses I currently have. Probably the 18-55 WR, as that's the widest I have.
The 18-55 is a good lens. The distortion won't bother you much for fireworks. I would zoom in as much as you can and still get the shot you want. The one I had was a little soft at 18mm.
06-28-2016, 12:26 PM   #10
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I will second or third recommendations above: 1) prefocus (turn focus to manual, off of AF)2l) low ISO and small f-stop (ISO 100, f11~16 - - fireworks are very bright, too high an ISO will burn out all the color); 3) tripod with remote release; 4) set on bulb and keep the shutter open as several skyrockets go up. The images generally look better with multiple overlapping explosions.
06-28-2016, 12:42 PM   #11
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I shot some fireworks this weekend (admittedly with a K5 not a K3) using my DA 40mm F2.8.

I was approx. 200 yards away from where they were launching. I went with ISO 100, F11, manual focus, bulb mode, tripod mounted and wired remote. Checking the EXIF the shutter speeds were between 2-5 seconds. The really intense bursts were too bright, and the more delicate coloured bursts needed the longer times.

Here are some examples.

[IMG][/IMG]









Also got my grandsons playing with 'sparklers', same technique.



06-28-2016, 12:59 PM   #12
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I use the DA 16-85, but mostly at 30-45mm, depending on where I'm located relative to the fireworks. So the 18-55 should be fine. Then:
  • Position, position, position (get a good position!)
  • Tripod
  • f/11
  • ISO 100
  • MF; focus on a feature (building say) at similar distance to the fireworks
  • B mode
  • IR trigger, 1-6 sec exposure to deliver length of trails to your taste.
To be honest, fireworks is the easiest thing to shoot there is.

That's it! You'll hardly have a bad one.

A few shots.

Last edited by Paul the Sunman; 06-28-2016 at 01:17 PM.
06-28-2016, 01:12 PM   #13
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I got awesome results using the K3 and DA 18-135 which I prefocused during the day, set to MF, then taped the focus ring with masking tape, then I set ti to an 8 second exposure and would hit the shutter button when a person lit it. It worked out really well. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/299056-night-fireworks.html
06-28-2016, 01:48 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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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.




06-28-2016, 02:09 PM   #15
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Beautifull work Mattb123. I like the approach of "ambiented fireworks" ; the first and second image are wonderfull. well done!
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