Shooting Fireworks & Lasers in night sky without Tripod

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Cool G5, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. Cool G5

    Cool G5 TPF Noob!

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    I own a Canon SX 100 IS digital camera. It's a good camera but suffers from noise problem once the ISO is cranked above 400. A bit is seen even above 200.

    Now I need to shoot some laser shows & fireworks at night in the coming day or two. I do not have a tripod. What do you suggest to get good snaps under the above scenario. Also bear in mind most of my shots will be zoomed to the max i.e. 10x optical zoom.

    At which ISO should I shoot? Any other things which I need to know to get good pictures without tripod?
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    It won't matter to much what ISO you use because unless you figure out some way to really steady the camera, like with a good tripod, all the pictures will be blurry.

    Zooming makes camera shake worse. Long exposures make camera shake worse.

    So, you need to rig up some kind of a substitute for a tripod. Use the ISO 200 and rest the camera on something stable like the top of a wall or fence. You know, Wal-Mart usually has cheap tripods (around $30). One of those would be better than nothing.

    You might get a couple decent shots without, but don't get your hopes up.
     
  3. nb62

    nb62 TPF Noob!

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  4. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    see if you can find a bean bag , set the camera on that to help steady the shot.

    or a bag of peas in a zip lock bag might work.
     
  5. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

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    Depending what kind of effect you want, you may be able to hand hold for laser, just shoot at the slowest shutter speeds you without shake. I've photographed lasers just using normal exposure (the show was indoors). But anything needing long exposures or the Bulb setting will require a tripod or bean bag.

    You really can't hand hold for fireworks, because the exposure will be too long.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    :thumbup:

    but not frozen peas........ condensation. :mrgreen:
     
  7. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Set your ISO at 100, your shutter speed at 1 second (change this as you see fit to change the amount of fireworks in your image) and your aperture to f/8. So long as you don't get ANY ground elements in the photos (ie, only fireworks) you'll be able to get some useable images handheld.

    The reason this works is that a singular point of light will register on the sensor and can't blur because it's simply not there long enough in one place to do so.
     
  8. Cool G5

    Cool G5 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tips guys. Eventually I got down on my knees & took shots using self-timer under manual mode.

    Here is one of the shot : BWSL on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    I reached the place a bit late & hence could not snap fireworks. However I did record them from a distance in a video.
     
  9. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    Very interesting thread. What I love about fireworks is that it is not like shooting lightning where you need a long couple second exposure. So for that, I tend to disagree with the above comments. Check out the attached picture which has both a non-moving (castle) lol structure with lights on it. I shot that with my 30d at 1/15 of a second, f5, iso 1600. Yea it has some noise, but not noticeable on the 8x10 that I printed it. And yes, it was handheld. You can actually see that I was standing in a mob of people and there was absolutely no room where I could rest up against a garbage can, or put my camera on something with a remote release. So I stood still, made sure to breathe out before I took the pic, and shot away, and they all came out pretty good. Of course not as good had I had a tripod, but they were decent IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2009
  10. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i am old , frozen never crossed my mind :)
     
  11. Cool G5

    Cool G5 TPF Noob!

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    Here is another pic, I shot yesterday. this time I found a place to rest my camera. :)

    [​IMG]

    Critique & Comments are welcome.

    Camera Used : Canon SX 100 IS
    Exposure Time : 15 Secs
    Aperture : F 8.0
    ISO : 80
    White Balance : Tungsten
     
  12. 1.john.1

    1.john.1 TPF Noob!

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    Very interesting thread.

    nice pic by the way.
     

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