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Fireworks time.

ronlane

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It's that time of year here in the USA. Time to break out the tripod and find a location and capture all the fireworks. I am lucky enough to live in a town where individuals are able to shoot them off for about a week. So I get plenty of practice. Well yesterday as I was hearing a few, I got to thinking of trying a new technique. About 6 months ago, I got a set of ND filters with holder and a CPL. So why not use them to make longer exposures and get multiple fireworks going off in one shot. (Note: I typically combine 3-6 images with the screen blend mode to get the same thing.)

Well here is three images that I took as a test last night. There weren't many people shooting them off at the park but it allowed me to test. Camera, lens and settings: Canon 1Dx, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art, Blue Frog Filters (CPL and 6-stop ND), f/4.0, ISO 100, shutter 2:00 minutes.

They are a little dark but I can fix that with exposure and I may have darken them too much in post.

208814265_4586077828081349_8176921310647757749_n.jpg

208900924_4586077814748017_493105060789703263_n.jpg

209067441_4586077824748016_5426297122810176910_n.jpg
 
IMHO they are a little on the dark side but other than that they look great. I really like the fine detail in the bursts. Brighten them up and repost if you would, I'd like to see them again.
 
I have never taken a fireworks shot with which I was satisfied. And, I live walking distance viewing sites here in DC but I always leave town for the 4th. Maybe now with the R6 and its high ISO capabilities I can finally get something decent. And come to think of it, this year I will be in town on the 4th. Perhaps worth a try.
 
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IMHO they are a little on the dark side but other than that they look great. I really like the fine detail in the bursts. Brighten them up and repost if you would, I'd like to see them again.

I won't change these, as I have all week, I will keep working on the technique to fine tune it, but thanks.

Composites are fun

I've been shooting fireworks and compositing them for a few years now. I got the ND and thought it would be a nice challenge to get some shots in one take.

I have never take a fireworks shot with which I was satisfied. And, I live walking distance viewing sites here in DC but I always leave town for the 4th. Maybe now with the R6 and its high ISO capabilities I can finally get something decent. And come to think of it, this year I will be in town on the 4th. Perhaps worth a try.

You don't need high ISO for fireworks shots. These were ISO 100 and I believe that previously using the 2-4 second exposures, I never went above 400. High ISO will not work for fireworks because you increase the sensitivity of the sensor and the fireworks explosions are so bright that they will blow out.
 
You don't need high ISO for fireworks shots. These were ISO 100 and I believe that previously using the 2-4 second exposures, I never went above 400. High ISO will not work for fireworks because you increase the sensitivity of the sensor and the fireworks explosions are so bright that they will blow out.
Ok, so a bit like shooting the moon. Maybe the excellent dynamic range on the R6 will help. The photographer certainly isn't helping.
 
I have never taken a fireworks shot with which I was satisfied. And, I live walking distance viewing sites here in DC but I always leave town for the 4th. Maybe now with the R6 and its high ISO capabilities I can finally get something decent. And come to think of it, this year I will be in town on the 4th. Perhaps worth a try.
Please do do it ... and with a tripod. I want to see how that camera performs in those conditions.
 
They appear very dark. Maybe because I’m using my phone to view but can barely make out anything. Will have to look again on my iPad later.

Last time I shot fireworks I was at f10 ISO 200 for 6.5 seconds. Most of the shots had 1-2 blooms in them, sometimes more. It really depends on if it’s a big display like in Boston where they are shooting multiples off at once vs over the lake at a neighboring town where they are shooting off one at a time. You could probably stop down to f16 and shoot for a shorter time without the ND and get multiples in one shot.

next time out in Boston (7/3) I’ll be trying a longer ss and stopping down a bit more to see how it looks. 7/4 we might head to NYC to shoot the fireworks there. That will be exciting!!!

looking forward to seeing more of these from you!
 
IMO it depends on the fireworks. In previous years I've been at some really large ones, where it was hard to get anything good with so much going off all at once. I'd almost given up until last year we were at a campground that had a smaller show, mostly single or double type shots. Actually that worked better for me. I was on a tripod set to 5 seconds, ISO 100, f/11. I'd just open the shutter and wait. Gave me some good single shots that I combined post.

July 4th 2020.jpg
 
Ok, so a bit like shooting the moon. Maybe the excellent dynamic range on the R6 will help. The photographer certainly isn't helping.

Yes it is somewhat like that.

In fact, you've given me an idea: multi-exposure. The first for the landscape and the second for the fireworks.

I've known plenty that use the "plate" to get a good foreground exposure and then use another exposure just for the fireworks. Very similar to doing MilkyWay shots where you see the foreground lit well.

They appear very dark. Maybe because I’m using my phone to view but can barely make out anything. Will have to look again on my iPad later.

Last time I shot fireworks I was at f10 ISO 200 for 6.5 seconds. Most of the shots had 1-2 blooms in them, sometimes more. It really depends on if it’s a big display like in Boston where they are shooting multiples off at once vs over the lake at a neighboring town where they are shooting off one at a time. You could probably stop down to f16 and shoot for a shorter time without the ND and get multiples in one shot.

next time out in Boston (7/3) I’ll be trying a longer ss and stopping down a bit more to see how it looks. 7/4 we might head to NYC to shoot the fireworks there. That will be exciting!!!

looking forward to seeing more of these from you!

They are a bit dark, yes. Trying to get the right exposure and combination of filters. I may have to go to something like 3:00 exposure on it. First thing I'm going to try tonight is to use just the 6-Stop ND without the CPL to see what difference, if any, that makes.

Thank you all. Just so those that don't know me, I have shot many fireworks shots, just looking for another technique to use on them.

For reference, this was a composite of images from last year.

50687632797_d33bb7b18a_c.jpg
 
IMO it depends on the fireworks. In previous years I've been at some really large ones, where it was hard to get anything good with so much going off all at once. I'd almost given up until last year we were at a campground that had a smaller show, mostly single or double type shots. Actually that worked better for me. I was on a tripod set to 5 seconds, ISO 100, f/11. I'd just open the shutter and wait. Gave me some good single shots that I combined post.

View attachment 245660

I've done plenty of that. I even have a MIOPS lightening trigger that I will use to take images so I can set it and enjoy the show. Honestly, the hardest thing to capture is the finally of those big shows because there is so many explosions typically in the same spot that it all blows out.

More to come on this thread over the next week.
 
@ronlbeen its been few months since I did this, but as I recall I used a black layer as my base then added the bursts as layers set to overlay blend mode.
 
They appear very dark. Maybe because I’m using my phone to view but can barely make out anything. Will have to look again on my iPad later.

Last time I shot fireworks I was at f10 ISO 200 for 6.5 seconds. Most of the shots had 1-2 blooms in them, sometimes more. It really depends on if it’s a big display like in Boston where they are shooting multiples off at once vs over the lake at a neighboring town where they are shooting off one at a time. You could probably stop down to f16 and shoot for a shorter time without the ND and get multiples in one shot.

next time out in Boston (7/3) I’ll be trying a longer ss and stopping down a bit more to see how it looks. 7/4 we might head to NYC to shoot the fireworks there. That will be exciting!!!

looking forward to seeing more of these from you!

Got to be careful.
If the big blooms are in about the same place, they overlap, and eventually, the image goes white.
I made that mistake when I got greedy and tried to get many blooms in one shot.
It was too much of a good thing. Like eating too much pie, and getting a tummy ache. It was a BIG WHITE BLOB in the sky.
 

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