Fireworks & Night Shots


TPF Noob!
Dec 27, 2007
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Shuld i use a black card or the filtered lense? which brings a grater quality picture?

i'm talkin' pics during the countdown for 2008 so, pls reply
Am not sure what filter your talking about.
as in the haze filters those type
no filters at all
put your camera on a tripod.
be sure the flash is off
focus on infinity, (turn off auto focus)
use a low ISO
try 5.6 at 1/15th of a second.

you could also put the shutter speed in time mode if possible and place the black card over the lens and when you hear the burst remove and leave off for a sec or so, you will need to experiment to see what is the best time.

you could also use bulb mode, fire the shutter when the rocket goes off and leave on until after the burst then close the shutter.
use the black card

i know ixactly what your talking about.

===BLACK CARD 101===

--setting up--
For those of you who are like "what the hell.. black card????".. heres a breif statement about them and how to use.

When your shooting fireworks you generall ydo what ann stated above. the only problem is. you generally get 1 image at a time on a frame. which is rather dull. having multiple firework explosions and trails is much more dramatic.

so heres what you do.. to the most part. some variations might be changed due to your location, ambiant light, time you have, and simply your overall shooting conditions.

-Scope out a nice location to view fireworks, get a nice composition with forground and so forth. do this a day or so ahead of the firework display to be sure you have the best location, and if you need to get high, you have permission to get up where you need to be.

-set your camera up on a sturdy tripod.

- ensure flash is off, and manual focus is engaged. i like to have my lense on M and set my d200 to M servo.

- your best bet from now on is to plan in your head.. (about how long will it take for maybe 3 or 4 fireworks to go off or depending on how many you wish to fill in 1 frame) and judge your shutter time on that.

-set shutter to T or B. most cameras use bulb these days so i will continue to share this in bulb.

-your aperature is a tricky part on this. it all depends on how much ambient light you wish to have in your screen. so youll have to play around a bit to get it to what you want.

usually, f/5.6 in my opinion might cause overexposure and not appealing. so i try going more toward f/8. even 11. but remember. for every stop you change, it allows twice as much light in. for ex. f/8 allows twice as much light in that f/11 does. f/11 allows half as much light in as f/8.

which hints, your shutter might need to be less or more.

sounds tricky but dont worry about it. trial and error will get you a decent picture. if you understand what i just said youll be set.

-its best to have a remote shutter release, if not be careful when you use the shutter to void any abscured vibration you may cause during so.

---taking the shot---

-press the shutter button down when your all set up

-after every firework explosion put the card infront of the lense. when another firework goes off remove the black card and then when its done cover back up the lense with the black card.

(This is acting as a shutter. simply allowing light in, and not to hit the CCD or film.)

-usually your best shots will look within a time of about 30 to 45 seconds. < with that said you have to kinda figure out how long you want. how many you plan on including in the one image, so allowing time to remove the card to and from the lense, and how much ambiant light youd like to fill in the sky or forground.

==the end==

there are numerous ways to do so... but i was shared with that idea at a seminar with fantastic images.

i then tried it and loved that way more then the others.

Other ways are-

Setting a time value on your camera to take a picture ever so many seconds on 1 frame. <<might miss the explosion>>

setting a multiple exposure. <<you have to be sure to have your shutter and aperature correct or youll get dark/blurry/no detailed shots>>

There are drawbacks with all the ways to do fireworks.

IMO... blackcard is truely the best and most succesful way of doing so.

If any questions feel free to ask me, or PM me. id be more then willing to share more. its hard to type so much on a forum.
Wow, you should post that as a tutorial Keith. Now i want to go try this out. Will any black card do or is there a special one to use?
nice. thanks!~
any black card will do
Depends on how you shoot. Black card is great when you're photographing up at fireworks but if you want any kind of background in the photo then it'll ruin your exposure. The method I use to make photos like this is to set the camera for the background on manual. Say ISO100 f/11 4 seconds. And just keep hitting the shutter or wait until I see the little firework go up and pull the trigger before it explodes.
From there to control the length of the trails it's just a matter of playing with the settings in a shutter priority style. Like 2 seconds at f/8 or 8 seconds at f/16 to keep the EV constant. If you start using a black card the background brightness will vary from frame to frame.

I find this much easier than using a black card.
thx all it really help please do await for my pictures =)
and also, the black card, does it need to be specialised for taking pics.? because there are some photographers hu recommended on the Cannon's Black card i'm not sure what they are talking about..
Wow that was great. Next Thunder Over Louisville, I'm definately trying this.

I don't mean to hijack your thread, but what lens would you guys use for fireworks?

Oh and is the card just like a black peice of cardboard or some other light blocking material?
hey man..thread's open to all users sheeshhss i dun mind haha for me
and i'm using the 75 - 300 zoom lense haha well...i'll too try out and thx to Keith, i wud b able to thx again man..haha well...jdgreen there's a range of lenses that you could use...
and i'm using the 75 - 300 zoom lense haha well...i'll too try out and thx to Keith, i wud b able to thx again man..haha well...jdgreen there's a range of lenses that you could use...

I see. I was refering to what would some people prefer to use, my mistake. But I guess it would depend on where you would get the best composition.

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