Taking pictures of Fireworks!

amj

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Would appreciate help in suggesting optimum settings & any technique for taking pictures of fireworks at night. I am using Canon 60d with its kit lens( 18-55) on a tripod.
 
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amj

amj

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Thanx buddy! Google surely is a friend ... :)
 

jowensphoto

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You're welcome!

Folks around here don't mind giving advice or answering questions. My best advice is do your own research first, then ask questions about what you came up with on your own.

Happy shooting :)
 

Joey_Ricard

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To the OP - In other words without a specific question, there can't be a meaningful answer, and I doubt that anyone will type out a step by step specific routine or method for shooting something that is an occasional event like fireworks.
 

Garbz

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Unfortunately there are no optimum settings. Even some settings taken for one firework may not be right for the bang immediately after. Fireworks vary in speed, light intensity, and not to mention compositional interests. There are a couple of techniques like setting a pre-determined exposure and using black piece of cardboard to block the lens when the right amount of firework has been recorded, or I just set my camera to bulb, take a photo, and then let go of the trigger when I think I've captured the right amount. All in all I like taking photographs of fireworks with some background as well. So I aim to get my background exposure right with a shutterspeed of around 3-6 seconds (by adjusting the aperture and ISO). That way a typical multi-second firework is likely to exposure the background correctly.

There's a few other things you need to know like a firework is a moving lightsource, so shutterspeed will not affect it's brightness, but it will affect the brightness of the background, and also affect the length of the streaks.
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/86548-fireworks-bulb.html here's a thread where taking photos of fireworks has been discussed previously for further reading.
 

GeorgieGirl

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You have equipment that will work for you. You would want to add a simple shutter release cable and that will never go to waste on you. You will need that to hold the shutter open and just count your time/seconds deliberately. Do read up a bit with the links that you have here from others for your set up.(If you have not already done so). It is suprisingly easy to capture fireworks photos. Once you are all set up and ready, its really hit or miss so keep shooting and you are bound to get some that you will be pleased with.

To give you an idea...I took these with a 17-55mm at f/13 from a beach where the barge was right out in the surf and they have been cropped because they just don't capture as dead center. Hope this helps you visualize how you need to set up and about what you can expect as a result for this sort of close range. All ISO 100.


This one was 4.0 seconds at 35mm

i-tdBBXZZ-L.jpg



This one was 5.0 seconds at the same 35mm

i-XKzHbzK-L.jpg
 
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SCraig

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I usually prefocus on the area they are going to rise into with my camera on a tripod. I like f/16 to f/18 @ ISO 400 and usually around 5 or 6 seconds of exposure.

As Garbz mentioned the light source is moving and you are shooting the light source itself (not reflected light as with the sun). I also prefer a little bit of background when I can get it.



 
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amj

amj

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Dear all, thank you for your inputs.

GG, the shots posted are awesome! I tried to capture a few, but had come across a lot of smoke. Also, the fact that the light streaks are moving, I was not too satisfied with the outcome. Let me try again next week when they fire some more.... :)
 

GeorgieGirl

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No Garbz, I like what you captured...I really enjoy these full view shots...I gave my settings and distance for the OP for the short captures...you might want to also so that they have some idea of what they need to do to achieve the image you have.:hugs:
 

GeorgieGirl

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Dear all, thank you for your inputs.

GG, the shots posted are awesome! I tried to capture a few, but had come across a lot of smoke. Also, the fact that the light streaks are moving, I was not too satisfied with the outcome. Let me try again next week when they fire some more.... :)

You can get rid of some of the smoke in PP. Again I was at 100 ISO so I was not open to a lot of light and the smoke is illuminated by the light.
 

Dominantly

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For ME:

Bulb mode is madatory
Tripod with the area pre-focused and camera set to MF
Aperture no wider than f/11
remote in hand

I like bulb because I can pick when to open (like at the sound of the shot up going up), and then close after a few good bursts. It's on demand and allows you to capture more than one single shot.

Like this one, it's quite a few different bursts in a row
924336738_qqSLW-L-1.jpg
 
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amj

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Guys, the only thing to say is Wow!!
 

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