First Time Shooting Fire Works

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by chantal7, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. chantal7

    chantal7 TPF Noob!

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    I live in a smaller city, so the fireworks never last very long, so I didn't get a whole lot of time to figure it all out. Some photos turned out okay while the others turned out REALLY blurry. I used about a 4 second shutter speed for the somewhat non blurry ones and then I went to about 2 seconds and they turned out blurry. 10 seconds and more does not work. So is it a timing thing like when to release the shutter? I have no idea. Any tips are welcome! :thumbup: Or maybe I needed a fast shutter speed? Hmm...

    Another question is what lens to use? These fireworks were like 10 mins, felt like I didn't even have time to try out some of the lenses. I used a Tamron 28-80mm F4.0 for all of these photos.

    I know the composition is not great, but I wanted to work more on getting the thing actually clear rather than blurry but could not figure it out...

    1. Unfortunately this is about the only clear photo I got.
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    2.
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    3.
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    4.
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  2. Threesia

    Threesia TPF Noob!

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    I've never shot fireworks but I'm hoping to this weekend.

    I really like 1) I like how clean it looks and 3) well I'm not sure why I like this one I just do. 2 and 4 just have a little to much blur.
     
  3. chantal7

    chantal7 TPF Noob!

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    Aw thanks! Maybe you could learn from my experience and get tips in this thread :)

    I posted 2 and 4 on purpose to show that those were pretty much the photos I was getting most of the time... then the other ones I just posted the better ones.
     
  4. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    I need to get out and shoot some fireworks this month...hmm.

    Here's a thought; set the shutter to bulb and just open it when there be explosions, close it when you feel is appropriate (estimating the amount of blur being created in the exposure as you watch the scene, leaving it open short enough to avoid fugliness but long enough to capture the fireworks.

    An alternate method would be to stop down the aperture, set the ISO to where it's enough to fully expose a firework going off (actually, over exposure would be good), and set your shutter to bulb. Then, kaboom!, open the shutter and lock it; instead of closing the shutter again, quickly cover the lens completely with a black, opaque board (or similar, just something that is light-tight). Then, kaboom!, uncover the lens, wait, cover, rinse and repeat as much as you can. How long the actual exposure time can be would depend on how much constant light there is in the background, e.g. buildings or street lamps. You may wish to take a few exposures of those stationary lights before the fireworks start to get your bearings first on approximately how long you can expose for at a given aperture and ISO (from there it's relatively easy to move your settings around to get a longer or shorter exposure time).

    Doing that may let you fill the entire sky with crazy colours, with practise.

    All this assuming you are using a tripod for these, which if you aren't, you really should. ;)
     
  5. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    Well I've taken some pictures of fireworks when I was down in disney on an assignment and we went to the whole parade thing with the castle lit up. Chantal - the reason you are getting that blur is because of the long shutter and either the wind taking the sparkles or them just falling. I took some fireworks pictures last year at around 1/15 sec f5 iso 1600. I bumped that iso on my 30d because I was handholding it. Yea they are noisy, but I didn't have the option of a tripod. But I just wanted to post to show how you can capture the firework and not have it run across the frame. I just waited for the launch, and as soon as it burst I took the picture, then repeat.
     

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  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Another tip is to pre-focus and turn AF off.

    I would also stop down the lens in the f/5 to f/8 range.

    Having some ground objects in the frame is usually are more pleasing to me.
     
  7. chantal7

    chantal7 TPF Noob!

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    Interesting way of shooting fireworks! Hehe. Thanks!

    Yep I was using a tripod ;) Would this method you speak of be easier with a trigger so I don't actually have to hold the shutter button myself on the camera? I don't think the triggers are very expensive either.

    Ahhh... that's it! The stupid wind! :grumpy: Haha. I never thought of that. I probably won't ever use ISO 1600 on my camera since it creates loads of noise, but thanks I guess I should have tried a shutter speed close to yours. Yours look really neat!

    Ah - yeah I turned the AF off after a few pics - haha, thanks for the tip!

    I can see how ground objects can be a little more pleasing. Damn I need to go to a bigger city for some flamin fireworks! :D

    Thanks all for the tips. This really helps!
     
  8. mylo

    mylo TPF Noob!

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    Great fireworks shots for a first timer!
     
  9. chantal7

    chantal7 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!
     
  10. Figment

    Figment TPF Noob!

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    Remote Remote Remote..... (And Tripod)

    I finally snatched a remote for my Nikon because I got tired of trying to figure out how to CLEARLY hold the shutter down (don't always wanna carry a piece of cardboard around with me) and I like playing with long, exposed shots.
    I'm not sure about Canon's, but a remote for a Nikon at Calumet is $20, and they're even cheaper online (If you can find free Shipping. BHPhoto?)
    My 2 cents work. Not bad for a first time. Mine first ones last night didn't come out hardly at all... Of course I was shooting from Santa Monica Pier, no tripod, stabilizing on the railing.... hehe
     
  11. chantal7

    chantal7 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I have considered that.... but was confused on how they work. One guy said you can get a wireless remote and you have to "hold" the button if you want it past bulb settings? The max my cam can go is 30 seconds. What remote to get is the question... wired or wireless? What's better? I don't understand how they work.

    For Canon it's either the: Remote Controller RC-1 (50 bucks)

    Or: Remote Controller RC-5 (cheaper, something like 20... but corded).
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009

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