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Author Topic: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???  (Read 11911 times)

Dylan777

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CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« on: July 02, 2012, 09:42:17 AM »
I have never try taking picture of firework before and would like to give it a try this year.

I went through the 5D III manual last night, “B” mode seems to be a good choice.

What about you guys? How do you set your camera? Shutter & aperture etc?

Happy July 4th and be safe.
Dylan
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CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« on: July 02, 2012, 09:42:17 AM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 10:13:12 AM »
Bulb is waaaaaay too long. You want an exposure in the range of a few to several seconds. Just as with lightning and with flash, aperture controls exposure; shutter speed controls the length of the tracks. Base ISO is good.

The challenge for exposure with fireworks comes when you try to shoot more than just the fireworks themselves, like including upturned faces or the city skyline. There's even going to be a full moon low in the sky on the Fourth...if you can shoot the moon and the fireworks, fantastic, but good luck getting the exposure right....

Cheers,

b&

TC1006

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 10:17:36 AM »
Mark Wallace from AdoramaTV has great video for shooting fireworks. He recommends the following:

Use Tripod
Use Cable Release
Manual or Bulb Mode
Aperture - f10 (start from there and play with it).
Manual Focus (Just shy of Infinity)
ISO 100

I have used these before and got great results. Good Luck.

awinphoto

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 10:20:00 AM »
I've done it sucessfully....  The urge is to have long tripod exposures such as 30 seconds, but keep in mind each individual burst of light from the fireworks, over time in the same area, will blow out your highlights...  I've found 8 second exposures pretty good...  captures good highlights... depending on the pace of the fireworks, you may get a lot or 1-2 bursts...  If you are good, have the tripod locked down, and shoot a good base shot, you can with photoshop easily use a blend mode and bring in certain bursts you really like for a series of shots to make a really cool effect...  Also... aperture... 5.6-8.... at that distance, most everything will be in focus anyways...  Cable release is a good idea but at this length of exposure, camera shake from the pressing of the shutter will be minimal at best, lastly, low iso... 100-200... 
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Bob Howland

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 10:31:30 AM »
Mark Wallace from AdoramaTV has great video for shooting fireworks. He recommends the following:

Use Tripod
Use Cable Release
Manual or Bulb Mode
Aperture - f10 (start from there and play with it).
Manual Focus (Just shy of Infinity)
ISO 100

I have used these before and got great results. Good Luck.

I tend to use f5/6 to f/8 instead. One think I try to exclude are the lights from the rockets going vertical. I just want to get the burst when they reach altitude. That means that I use Bulb exclusively.

Another point is that the best pictures of fireworks are also pictures of a pretty landscape lit by fireworks. That means that you will probably have to be further back and higher, maybe a lot higher, than you might think.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 10:35:00 AM by Bob Howland »

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2012, 11:54:59 AM »
I found 2-4 seconds is plenty.  I did it handheld on backyard fireworks with my 15mm FE.  I was pretty close.  I'd use a tripod if I ever did it again.  I used manual settings and determined the exposure by trial and error.  Even then, I over exposed a little.
 
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Dylan777

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 05:08:28 PM »
I have never try taking picture of firework before and would like to give it a try this year.

I went through the 5D III manual last night, “B” mode seems to be a good choice.

What about you guys? How do you set your camera? Shutter & aperture etc?

Happy July 4th and be safe.
Dylan

What about focus - on the lens, do we set to infinity??
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 08:48:16 PM by Dylan777 »
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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 05:08:28 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 05:24:32 PM »
What focus - on the lens, do we set to infinity??

Get there before dark (and maybe enjoy the sunset!), manually focus in such a way that includes the spot the fireworks will be launched from in the sharp plane of focus, and use a bit of gaffer's tape to be sure that the focus stays set throughout the night.

Anything other than that...well, good luck.

Cheers,

b&

bdunbar79

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 07:55:36 PM »
The thing I learned the hard way is that you really want to keep that ISO as low as possible.  If your ISO is too high, the lights will look blown out and even blurry.  100 or 200 is plenty, f/8-f/11, focus at infinity if your lens is 24mm or shorter (I've shot at 35mm before too, at infinity) because those focal lengths have a relatively short distance to infinity.  Play around with and have FUN with the exposure time!  This stuff is reallly fun!  My recommendation is to take any tips on here and go experiment for yourself. 
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wickidwombat

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 08:15:10 PM »
bulb is absolutely the way to go
open the shutter at the start and close when the burst is done this gives you much more control of how it looks
fixed settings are way too random and also subject to heavy over or under exposure based on burst intensity
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kdsand

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2012, 08:59:03 PM »
 :D I watched mark at Adorama TV yesterday as a refresher.
I also use bulb mode primarily & as far as my settings they tend to very - though I do stay at 100 or 200 ISO and I chimp. Tethering a tablet makes focus a bit easier or quicker.

My conundrum is where to shoot. I might try shooting from the dunes across the lake towards Chicago tomorrow night.
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kdsand

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2012, 09:28:06 PM »
After being outside this evening.
 :-[ :o :o :o :o :o :o :o
 Mosquito spray 1st and formost!

 Its darn hard to get a good shot when you're jumping around and twitching. :o >:( :o >:( :o >:(
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TrumpetPower!

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2012, 09:48:16 PM »
:D I watched mark at Adorama TV yesterday as a refresher.
I also use bulb mode primarily & as far as my settings they tend to very - though I do stay at 100 or 200 ISO and I chimp. Tethering a tablet makes focus a bit easier or quicker.

My conundrum is where to shoot. I might try shooting from the dunes across the lake towards Chicago tomorrow night.

The full moon will be low on the horizon in the east southeast about the time that many fireworks displays will be going on.

From the vantage point I have in mind for the display over Tempe Town Lake, the moon will be perfectly in the frame. The problem, though, is that I'll almost certainly have to be shooting with the TS-E 24, and the moon won't fill up much of the frame. Far enough away to use something in the 150 - 200 mm range (which is fantastic for the moon), and I'd be in the middle of the freeway, and probably 150 feet above it to boot.

I suppose I could take a second body, but I'm worried enough about security giving me a hard time with one tripod as it is....

b&

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2012, 09:48:16 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2012, 10:58:15 PM »
bulb is absolutely the way to go
open the shutter at the start and close when the burst is done this gives you much more control of how it looks
fixed settings are way too random and also subject to heavy over or under exposure based on burst intensity

That works great if all you've got in the frame are airbursts. It doesn't work at all if you've got other elements in the frame, such as the upturned faces of the crowd, the skyline, the moon, etc.; in that case, you've got to do a bit of triangulation between picking the right aperture and ISO combination to expose the fireworks properly and the right shutter speed to expose the rest of the frame right, and hope that the shutter speed isn't too long or too short for the length of fireworks trails you want...at which point, you start adjusting ISO to get the non-fireworks exposed right, which means adjusting aperture again to bring the fireworks back in line...and it's right about then that you thank the gods that your camera has an LCD display so you know right then and there whether or not you've got the exposure and don't have to wait a couple days to get the film developed....

b&

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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 12:47:07 AM »
This was my first real attempt at shooting fireworks (with a camera).  I think it came out pretty good.  This was about 6-7+ exposures of anywhere from .5 sec to 15 sec.  I stacked them up, and like what I was able to get.  I applied what I have been learning from star trail photography to this process, and it gave me a bit more creative freedom.  It is especially challenging if you want to get the right exposure on the foreground as well as the fireworks, but taking multiple exposures really is the only way to get it right.


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Re: CAMERA SETTING for Firework - Your thoughts???
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 12:47:07 AM »