Shooting Fireworks

by Enche Tjin on July 3, 2009

United States of America soon will celebrate independence day on 4th July 2009. This exciting celebration usually involve parade in the morning, and concert and fireworks at night. You might want to document these events.

shooting-fireworks-city-skylineWhen composing the shot, aware of the background. Skyline might be an interesting background.
Canon EOS 5D, 28mm, bulb mode @ f/8, ISO 160 (image © Erika Silverstein)

Generally, these are the most popular tips:

  • Don’t use Auto, use Manual or bulb
  • Set long exposure (10-15 sec) to capture multiple fireworks in action
  • Use a tripod, because it is impossible not to shake during the long exposure
  • Set low ISO such as 100 or 200
  • Use flash only to light up foreground, such as people.
  • Use self timer or cable release to avoid camera shake
  • Aware of the background, pick a better location if you have to.
  • Set focus to infinity

In addition, Canon Digital Learning center has a great article that discuss about this topic. It include baseball hat techniques, some creative ideas and battery/power usage information. I find it great for everybody, especially for Canon digital SLR camera user.

Andrzej Wrotniak also have tips for shooting fireworks, plus the post processing / cropping tips. He uses Olympus DSLR cameras but most of the tips are universal.

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