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06-29-2010, 05:23 PM   #1
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How to Shoot Fireworks?

The 4th of July is just around the corner and i would like to see if i could get some input on what are some of the best techniques to shooting fireworks?

I have heard:
Removing your filter
Use a remote
Use manual focus and set at infinity
Use a lens hood
Use iso 200

Some settings could be:
F4 1.3 secs
F5.6 2.5 secs
F8 5 secs
F11 10 secs

Any other suggestions would be GREAT!


Thanks and have a Happy 4th1

06-29-2010, 05:32 PM   #2
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Thread moved to general photography.

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06-29-2010, 08:54 PM   #3
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I saw this great effect on Flickr where you start with focus at infinity and then turn the ring during the exposure to create those amazing drops of colors. I will definitely have to try this when firework season comes around to Japan!
06-29-2010, 09:12 PM   #4
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The settings you offer will work. I've always used f-11 and varied the exposure. The longer the exposure the more fireworks you'll get in the frame, and the longer the trails. The fireworks themselves are bright enough to expose at almost any aperture.

If you can manage to get the surroundings in the frame, you might find more interest.

06-30-2010, 07:13 AM   #5
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look here

Fireworks Photography Tips - PhotographyREVIEW.com
06-30-2010, 08:59 AM   #6
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I usually stick them in the ground, light them, and run.

Sorry, couldn't resist. I've never tried firework photography. But a trick I've heard before is to do really long exposures, and have a piece of black cardboard or whatever, and place it in front of the lens between fireworks, that way your sky stays nice and dark, and doesn't start to wash out from the long exposure. When you see a firework go up, you remove the black thing let it register, then cover back up and wait for another. I think this is better than shooting at the finalle, where it's usually just a big mess. I would think with some practice, you could use this technique to pick and choose what fireworks are in you frame, and try and compose them almost.

Also, I think straight up firework shot are pretty boring. They're cool for a minute, but then they all look the same. Try to get some sky line or landmark or something. If it's just black sky and fireworks, that could be anywhere, but if you find something to help give a sense of location, I think that makes a big difference. Also, typically the best place to get fireworks shots is not the best place to watch them.
06-30-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
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Searching this forum and/or the DSLR forum for threads with the word "fireworks" in the title also turns up a number of similar discussions. Seems like this happens every year around late June / early July...
07-01-2010, 01:11 PM   #8
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Sometimes, someone brings up a subject, and gives you another idea on how to shoot something in a more or less cliche way.

So......

This thread gave me the idea to do close-up photography of fireworks as they're lighted, maybe even getting into macro territory.

Hand holding the punk/ match to fuse and as it ignites and takes off.

This should be interesting.

07-01-2010, 02:16 PM   #9
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LOL@ Ira. Interesting just might be a mild word for it.
07-02-2010, 09:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by subeeds Quote
LOL@ Ira. Interesting just might be a mild word for it.
I wish I had a remote, but seriously:

I have a ton of little bottle rockets, so with a semi- long lens to keep me away and get me in close for the shot, it could work to interesting effect.
07-02-2010, 09:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I wish I had a remote, but seriously:

I have a ton of little bottle rockets, so with a semi- long lens to keep me away and get me in close for the shot, it could work to interesting effect.
I'll get my wife to light them.
07-02-2010, 10:03 PM   #12
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Power lines and street lights with mixed in fireworks.

Damn, light this honey.
"F5.6 2.5 secs ", works good. Any number of variations is ok also, depends on intensity alot.
Took this tonight at St.Mary`s collage of Maryland, river-festival thing. F 5.6, ISO 200, 16mm, and 2 seconds.
I completely blew the finale, too intense = over exposed badly.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 11-11-2014 at 05:51 PM.
07-02-2010, 10:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Legend Quote
The 4th of July is just around the corner and i would like to see if i could get some input on what are some of the best techniques to shooting fireworks?

I have heard:
Removing your filter
Use a remote
Use manual focus and set at infinity
Use a lens hood
Use iso 200

Some settings could be:
F4 1.3 secs
F5.6 2.5 secs
F8 5 secs
F11 10 secs

Any other suggestions would be GREAT!


Thanks and have a Happy 4th1
These are all right on, only thing missing is a tripod.
Also try to choose a location with out power lines or street lights, unless desired for an effect.
And happy 4th to all.
07-02-2010, 10:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Legend Quote
The 4th of July is just around the corner and i would like to see if i could get some input on what are some of the best techniques to shooting fireworks?

I have heard:
Removing your filter
Use a lens hood
You should be doing that anyway...
07-03-2010, 12:47 PM   #15
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Looks like a rain wash-out for me tomorrow.

If it doesn't, I have it figured out:

I'm going to bring a glass table to the front of the house, and set a bottle on it for the bottle rockets. My wife will light them with a punk, and I'll use the Tamron 90 Macro to get in real close and shoot the trail as it ignites.
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