I have mentioned before that our house is located in the central fireworks district of our county. On the Fourth of July, this means we have a 360° view of fireworks for at least an hour after sunset (plus the random canon shot) without leaving home! Always keen to hone my photography skills, I aimed my camera at a neighbor’s house where about 50 people had gathered for a fireworks show. I am not sure how he funds his display, but this neighbor puts on an explosive show. While filming the fireworks, I occasionally peeked at the camera’s display and decided from those previews that I just wasn’t getting anything worth saving. Now this might have been because it was past my bedtime when the show started and I was very sleepy or because the mosquitoes had sucked all the blood from my brain or because I am too old to really see the camera display, but my belief that I had wasted my time caused me to lay my camera aside and not even look at the photos for a few weeks. That is why you are just now seeing them! It turns out they weren’t too bad for an amateur. Unfortunately I don’t have any monuments in my neighborhood to use as a backdrop and I didn’t think anyone would believe it if I just stuck the Eiffel Tower in there 🙂
There are many ways to take fireworks pictures – just search the web and you will see what I mean. Here is my method:
- Use a tripod
- Turn off all autofocus (camera and lens) and focused on infinity
- I used F14 and ISO 200 with remote shutter – but you have to experiment with these settings based on your conditions.
- When a set of fireworks started, I opened the shutter and kept it open, then just put a piece of black cardboard in front of the lens between bursts of fireworks (don’t touch the camera with the cardboard). After 3 of 4 fireworks bursts, I released the shutter.
- I shot these in raw format so I could layer them if I did not get enough burst in a shot.
Here are links to other ideas for taking fireworks pictures: