With July 4th Approaching - Share Your Tricks!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by PhotoXopher, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    This will be my first 4th trying to take some nice photographs of the fireworks.

    I've done the research and 'think' I have a plan but I thought maybe this would be a good time/opportunity to put this out there.

    My plan is:

    Find a good location.
    Use a tripod.
    Watch a few so I can get my timing down.
    Set the camera to bulb mode.
    Open the shutter with the lens cap on and just before the firework explodes I'll remove the lens cap.

    I'll try this method a couple times than if it seems to be working I might try covering up the lens again and do a second firework on the same exposure.

    Hopefully I have that right :lol:
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You can certainly use the bulb mode method...but beware of getting too much ambient exposure.

    When shooting against only a dark night sky, that really isn't a problem, but if you want to have somerthing in the photos besides fireworks, then you need to be careful about how much ambient light gets recorded as well.

    My advice would be to take some test shots just before the fireworks...find out what exposure settings can give you a nice ambient exposure of the scene and then use that to capture the fireworks. It's likely to be a longer shutter speed anyway, so it 'should' be enough to capture some fireworks with good timing.

    Of course, if the show is long enough, you can try a few different techniques.

    Here is an one I shot several years ago. What really makes the shot IMO, is the exposure of the sky in combination with the fireworks.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've moved stuff around and find my links right now, but here's a few other things to consider....

    Get a remote shutter release
    Prefocus and then turn AF off
    Something larger than the lens cap makes covering the end of the lens easier
    Do ~10 second exposures.... keeps heat build-up on the sensor at bay
    Try to position yourself so your back is at the breeze.... the smoke clouds can be a PITA but can be minimised in post
    Native/base ISO

    There's a few more I can't think of ATM


    Composition and grounded subjects in the frame like Big Mike suggests.

    I took this in the first couple of days of getting my first dSLR.



    [​IMG]


     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  4. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Wow, that's beautiful... Thanks for the idea, I will definitely keep that in mind when we get there - that does add a lot to the photo.

    Edit:
    Thank you as well kundalini, nice list there... that makes sense.
     
  5. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    IMO, the first item on your list is definitely the most important....location. The first time I shot fireworks, I got some fantastic shots, or so I thought. When I went back & downloaded them, the fireworks looked great, but the more I looked at them, they were really bland due to lack of background/foreground.

    Mike & Kundalini's shots have got some really nice features within them. Do some serious scouting.

    I can't wait for fireworks this year....my company just bought out another in Columbus, and one of the concrete plants is over 80' tall with a catwalk on top, and a great view overlooking downtown...
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The following year (2008), I figured I had some prime real estate. However, Mother Nature decided to put her own show on. The paid show was canceled, but I grabbed this before the bottom fell out.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    awesome topic noyze...i have been thinking of my steps and setup for this year as well since i failed MISERABLY last year. :D
    already in these few posts are some great tips. i look forward to giving it more effort this year. :thumbup:
     
  8. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    I hear ya, there's a lot of helpful things I never thought about that have been posted! :D
     

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