April 19, 2014, 06:00:56 AM

Author Topic: Tips for Shooting Fireworks  (Read 2736 times)

CanonGrunt

  • PowerShot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Tips for Shooting Fireworks
« on: July 04, 2012, 02:32:15 PM »
As the title says. Never shot fireworks before. Looking for the best tips, settings, lens combo, ect.. and any other good info you can provide. I have a 7D and T3i, 70-200 f/2.8 L MKII, 24-105 f/4 L, 10-22 EF-s, 100mm Macro f/2.8 L, 2X extender MKIII, 50mm f/1.8. Plus I have a tripod on the cheap single button canon remote.

Thank you for your input..
EOS 1V, EOS 5D MK III, EOS 7D, Rebel T3i, 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM L MK II, Nifty Fifty & Shorty Forty, EF-S 10-22 USM, 24-105 IS USM L, 100 IS USM L Macro, 2X Extender MK III, G9, and HF S-10.

canon rumors FORUM

Tips for Shooting Fireworks
« on: July 04, 2012, 02:32:15 PM »

bdunbar79

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 2427
    • View Profile
Re: Tips for Shooting Fireworks
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 03:27:39 PM »
Ok, this is what I do.  This is personal preference.  I shoot on FF by the way, and use my 24L, 35L, or 16-35L zoom lens.  My ISO settings are typically 100-200.  Focus at infinity.  I take a few test shots, but typically set the aperture to f/8 to f/11 and vary my shutter speed for effect, upwards of 3 seconds for trailing.  You'll have to do a lot of test shots with exposure so you don't blow out your fireworks in your photos.  That's my suggested starting point.  On a 7D you do NOT want to control exposure via ISO.  Leave that as low as you can and change aperture and shutter speed, and practice a lot.  You may not get it right at all this outting so be prepared to go to multiple events or wait till next year to really nail it.  Good luck and have fun!

Bennymiata

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 175
    • View Profile
Re: Tips for Shooting Fireworks
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 03:42:23 AM »
bdunbar is not far off the mark.
I've found that you need to ge tthe exposure up around 3-3.5 seconds and use F8-F11 and 200ISO so you do'nt overexpose the image.
It's overexposure that makes most fireworks photos look colourless as they get blown out.
You will need to do test shots first and check them on the screen, but the above should be a good start for you.

You MUST have a tripod!

I used my Canon 60D and a 24-105L for these shots I took last New Years Eve, but it really depends on how far away you are and how big the fireworks are as to exactly what lens you use.


bdunbar79

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 2427
    • View Profile
Re: Tips for Shooting Fireworks
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 12:50:33 PM »
Those are nice, smooth, and saturated.  Well done.

ronderick

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 400
    • View Profile
Re: Tips for Shooting Fireworks
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 02:53:56 AM »
My 2 cents:

Don't expect too much during your first run. Usually it takes several visits (and since any given event usually happens once a year, it could mean several years...) to get the things right, such as finding the best positions. Of course, there's also luck - like the weather conditions.

Next you'd want to collect all possible information beforehand, including program brochures, pictures from previous events, etc. as reference. This is especially useful in events where there's multiple fireworks sessions.

In my opinion, the most important issue is knowledge of which direction the wind blows at the time of the event. It could mean a successful session vs. one good photo with the rest in smoke.

Also, you might want to take some photos of the surrounding beforehand, so you can combine them with shots of the fireworks itself on your computer.
Canon EOS 1D MKIV, EF 24-105mm F/4L, EF 70-200mm F/2.8L, TS-E 17mm F/4L, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
FujiFilm FinePix X100

electricpanic

  • Guest
Re: Tips for Shooting Fireworks
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 02:49:48 AM »
Anticipate the action: Research when the show begins, ends, and how high the fireworks will be. Secure an unobstructed view by arriving early, and then consider the background and foreground of your shot. Try different zooms or interchangeable lenses, and experiment with buildings to give scale and anchor to your shots. Use the first few bursts to finalize your lens, focal length and framing.

Let the fireworks do the moving: You'll need a long shutter speed and a perfectly steady camera. If you have a tripod, use it!

No tripod? Find a solid surface at head or waist height with an unobstructed view. Use something soft to balance your camera. A Ziploc bag filled with beans or rice will hold your camera steady once you've pressed it down firmly.
Shoot for a long exposure: Fireworks take a second or two to burst, so leave your camera's shutter open for that long. If possible, choose T mode (shutter stays open until you press the release twice). Alternatively, choose B mode (shutter stays open for as long as you hold the release). Avoid camera shake by pressing gently and holding your finger steady, or use a remote release cable. If all else fails, try your self-timer!

Control the exposure: Control the brightness of the fireworks by setting your aperture. If it's too wide (ƒ2.8) you'll lose the rich color, so start with a setting like ƒ8. Use the very beginning of the show to review your results. Focus? Use infinity.

Avoid flashes: Not only will a flash not reach that far, but the fireworks are the lighting! Turn off your flash.
Keep your ISO low: There will be plenty of light from the fireworks, so keep the ISO low (such as ISO 100) and you'll avoid a noisy image that may spoil the fireworks' brilliant effect.

Think about focal length: If you want the fireworks to fill the frame, consider how close you are. You already made a guess on framing, but be prepared to re-adjust your zoom or fit a different lens. Try a wide-angle if you're close.
Pay attention to firework frequency and variety: Leave your shutter open from just before the burst until just after. Once you know the burst height, watch the ascending trail to know when to press the shutter release.

Get ready for the finale! You'll need to widen your lens focal length and point the camera higher to get several bursts into one shot!

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Tips for Shooting Fireworks
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 02:49:48 AM »