Fireworks with bulb

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by rmh159, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    I'm surprised we haven't seen a flood of fireworks posts so maybe this will break the seal.

    I'm interested in trying out the technique where you put the camera on bulb during fireworks. Then cover the lens with a black piece of paper between fireworks so that you're ONLY getting light from the actual fireworks and not ambient light.

    Does anyone have experience with this? I figured F8 or F11 would do fine with the ISO as low as possible. Any idea how many fireworks I could get before throwing off the exposure. I want to minimize the experimenting while in the thick of it since it's not like the fireworks shows last all nite.
     
  2. PhotoPhoenix

    PhotoPhoenix TPF Noob!

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    i shot fireworks last night. i just got my Mac so i don't have photoshop to edit them yet just boring iPhoto. anyway, i shoot them at f8 at 100 iso. focusing is kind of a challenge but mainly i would just focus to a hair before infinity. using bulb might not be your prefrence. i shoot at four seconds but that's just because i like to time it right before they burst. if you pay attention to the firework, it will go out right before it pops. that's the time to open the shutter.. gah, i'll try and post some of my photos from yesterday...using iPhoto....

    ok, i did it. wow, iPhoto is pretty easy to use but not very professional. anyway...here's a link to one of the photos i shot yesterday. very boring but it's an example.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phoenixownz/689584781/
     
  3. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I can't offer any advice but I'd like to hear some too. I was reading up on the same technique.

    What I have seen tho use black fabric not paper. It seems like it would be hard to hold a piece of paper right up against the lens but cloth you can just throw it over and it would cover everything.
     
  4. PhotoPhoenix

    PhotoPhoenix TPF Noob!

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    i do the same thing but using my hand. it's dark outside when viewing fireworks(usually). your hand should be dark enough to achieve that. that's hardly a problem though. if your hands are steady enough..you can hand hold firework photos. i hand held that shot i posted and it was shot with a five second exposure. the sky is so dark and the fireworks are so bright..it's kind of hard to mess up them.. using a tripod is good but i found it hard to adjust quick enough(and i use a piston grip tripod!) when some fireworks fly higher than others.
     
  5. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    Do you think a 50mm would work? It's either that or my 70-200 which I don't feel like lugging around.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Depends how close you are. Personally I find fireworks by themselves extremely boring. Even if they are shaped like a heart or something. I always keep my distance from them and try to include angles with cities, backgrounds, or other items of interest.
     
  7. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah that's what I'm hoping for (I agree that fireworks themselves are pretty cliche and boring). I might be able to get some shots of fireworks over water for some decent reflections.

    PhotoPhoenix I was thinking to go with bulb for the sake of getting several fireworks in one frame.

    We'll see... I'll try a few different things and if any of them turn out to be worthwhile I'll make sure to post a follow-up.
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    try putting the camera on B, just as you hear the firing of the rocket, fire the shutter and leave your figure on the shutter until a few seconds after the burst .

    if you have a shutter release cable, just hold the shutter down.

    if your camera doesn't have a bulb function, you will need to use shutter speeds in the 5-8 second range.

    f8-f11 IS0 of 100 and manual focus on infinity.

    then cross your fingers.

    fireworks are like sunsets, we all seem to try them at least once :)
     
  9. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    LOL so well put. I'm HOPING I can get some shots that aren't your typical fireworks shots or else I'll just delete them and try to learn something from the experience.

    The reason I want to try using bulb is to get an exposure of about 10 - 20 seconds (using the black card to minimize exposure in between fireworks). Hopefully I can do that without overexposing.

    Oh well, if the pics suck I'll just shrug my shoulders and move onto the next thing. Maybe some FLOWER MACROS!!! LOL jk (although I'm sure we've all done those as well).
     
  10. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you shooting digital? If so, you may find that the long times with bulb will cause "hot Pixels". These are unexplained blue or red pixels due to the sensor getting overheated by being powered on for too long a time. The latest generation of DSLR's are much less prone to this, but I would suspect it to still be a problem.
     
  11. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    heres a shot i took i took a couple of days ago.

    [​IMG]

    i shot it from the top floor of the apartment building i live in. i didnt want to get evicted, so i shot it through a window with my CP filter on the lens (Canon 18-55mm kit lens).

    this one i shot in bulb mode so i dont remember the exact exposure time, but it was around 8 seconds or so. i held one of my reflectors (still inside the black case) in front of the lens right after the red firework went off, and waited until just before the purple one went off and then closed the shutter. ive been noticing it works better if you close the shutter, or cover the lens, before the firework dissipates.

    i checked the EXIF data, and the other settings were,

    aperture - f11
    shutter speed - 8 seconds
    focal length - 55mm
    ISO - 200
    metering mode - average
    exposure compensation - 0

    hopefully i can get permission on the 4th to shoot from the roof. if not, im hoping to be able to shoot from the roof of a building across the street from me thats 18 stories, and the tallest building in the city. if neither of those options work out, theres a bridge about 4 blocks from where they set them off that might be a good spot to get some interesting shots from.
     
  12. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I agree. I'm looking forward to trying to get some cool reflections off Lake Erie or maybe get a lighthouse or something in the background.
     

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