Rebel XSi, kit lens (18-55mm) and fireworks. HELP!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Stilltime, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Stilltime

    Stilltime TPF Noob!

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    I literally ran inside to post this because I SUCK at trying to get some decent pictures of the fireworks. Just like the title says - I have the rebel xsi with the 18-55mm kit lens. I do have a tripod, but it's old and a piece of crap (hand-me-down).

    I just don't have time to search, and my manual isn't helping. It's telling me to use lenses I don't have.

    Can anyone help me?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  2. kn4ds

    kn4ds TPF Noob!

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    Tripod mount, of course, and off-camera shutter release is pretty much mandatory...

    I just got my XS, and haven't gotten to shoot fireworks yet... I did manage years ago to get decent shots on film, so my thoughts are to use bulb with a fairly narrow aperture and probably ISO 200.... fire when the stream goes up, and hold it until the firework fades.

    For the finales, you'll find that they're overexposed that way... you can only do multiple exposures for that...

    If you don't have the remote shutter release, you'll find that camera shake becomes a problem... even tripod mounted.

    That's based on shows where you're some distance away - if you're shooting things in your immediate vicinity, you'll have to experiment with exposure.

    My 2 cents' worth... others will likely have invaluable tips.
     
  3. Stilltime

    Stilltime TPF Noob!

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    OK, I think I'm set shutter speed/aperture wise. What I don't get is focusing. Somewhere I read not to use auto focus with fireworks, and they're on our street, so close. They said to use AF to focus, then switch to manual focus, and/or tape the lens? Huh, wha?

    I don't have a remote, but I can use a 1 one second self timer, I guess.
     
  4. CAG76

    CAG76 TPF Noob!

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    These aren't fireworks, but I did take these after I got off of work here in Indy. I used a remote shutter device and a tripod. The tiniest shake of the camera will cause the image to blur. I mean the slightest movement while taking in the dark.

    -Christopher
     

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  5. kn4ds

    kn4ds TPF Noob!

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    I'd just manually focus... you will miss one or two doing that... but you'll be in focus.

    The 1 second timer... hmm... if you absolutely know when the firework is fired, possibly... try it with one or two... maybe a 5 second exposure, too?

    Without bulb (off-camera remote), it's gonna be hard, and possibly disappointing. Do what you can with what you have, and hopefully you'll have a few nice results.
     
  6. kn4ds

    kn4ds TPF Noob!

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    I've been there... had training classes there back in 2001.
     
  7. CAG76

    CAG76 TPF Noob!

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    Ok this thing resized my images so they are not as sharp as they are on my end. Anyway yes you could also use the timer if you don't have a remote shutter. I bought one for a little over $20.00. That's not expensive to me, but certainly not cheap. I know they have better ones out there, but mine works just great!

    -Christopher
     
  8. Stilltime

    Stilltime TPF Noob!

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    Nope, no remote. My husband's helping fire them, so I'll try to synch the photos.
     
  9. Stilltime

    Stilltime TPF Noob!

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    My freaking battery died. So I'm inside taking a look at "round one" waiting to get enough juice to go back out and take some more. So far they seem over exposed, so I'm thinking I'm either too close, or need to mess with the settings some more. The best one so far was from me running with the camera when one jumped across the street. LOL
     
  10. kn4ds

    kn4ds TPF Noob!

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    heh... runnin' from the fire... that is prolly a great shot...

    Use a smaller (higher number) aperture.
     
  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Fireworks:

    1. Set up your camera on a tripod with remote release

    2. Set focus to manual, focus on infinity

    3. Set aperture to f8 (or thereabouts)

    4. Set shutter speed to 2 seconds (as a starting point)

    5. Watch a couple and try to trip the release just as the bloom ignites, or just before.

    6. Review on the LCD, adjust shutter speed to produce the desired exposure and length of light trail.
     
  12. Stilltime

    Stilltime TPF Noob!

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    Alright, these are my favorites. Even though they're kind of overexposed in the center, I think it lends to the overall the look. Or at least, that's what I'm telling myself. :lol:

    #1, especially with the fog from the smoke, looks like a spaceship or something. And #2 was me hauling buggy away from the one that jumped the street. You can kind of see the trail of the smoke more than anything. I think the fire had actually gone out on the main one in focus before the other one come at me from the other side, so what you're seeing is the movement from the lingering smoke. And #3 is an expample of one of many that could have been better if not over exposed. I included the exif info below so you guys can help me out.

    #1
    [​IMG]

    #2
    [​IMG]

    #3
    [​IMG]
     

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