Taking photos of fireworks


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+jnelsoninjax

What are the best setting on a digital camera to use to get quality shots of fireworks? I am not talking about the professional fireworks, but rather the ones that the consumers can set off.

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Jim K

I would assume 1) tripod 2) low ISO 3) turn off auto-focus 4) mid aperture 5) ability to keep the shutter open (Bulb) throughout the firework burst or a slow (long) shutter speed if there isn't a Bulb option.  

 

Probably would be better to know the camera to be used and capabilities. The manufacture may even have relevant recommendations/settings.

 

Edit:  You can also look on flickr  ( https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=fireworks ) ... check out some of the firework images and look at the EXIF file for ideas.

 

Edit #2:  If you have a Canon Rebel T6 (which I see you've posted a question about) ... this link has pictures of fireworks filtered to that camera.  https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=fireworks&cm=canon%2Feos_rebel_t6

 

//moved to Digital Camera section

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+jnelsoninjax
1 hour ago, Jim K said:

I would assume 1) tripod 2) low ISO 3) turn off auto-focus 4) mid aperture 5) ability to keep the shutter open (Bulb) throughout the firework burst or a slow (long) shutter speed if there isn't a Bulb option.  

 

Probably would be better to know the camera to be used and capabilities. The manufacture may even have relevant recommendations/settings.

 

Edit:  You can also look on flickr  ( https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=fireworks ) ... check out some of the firework images and look at the EXIF file for ideas.

 

Edit #2:  If you have a Canon Rebel T6 (which I see you've posted a question about) ... this link has pictures of fireworks filtered to that camera.  https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=fireworks&cm=canon%2Feos_rebel_t6

 

//moved to Digital Camera section

Thanks for the info! I'll look into it, and yes the Canon Rebel is the camera I am using.

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  • 2 months later...
Archstroke

When taking fireworks pictures, you'll want a stable tripod and a cable release/remote shutter control to actuate the shutter.  I would recommend getting to the shooting location well before the show starts.  This will allow you to get your focus set to infinity on your lens.  I use a zoom lens in order to be flexible with how far I am from the launch site, but you could make it work with a prime lens and zoom with your feet.  Set the camera to bulb mode as you will be manually controlling the exposure length.  I normally use ISO 400 but you can play around with it and adjust it to your noise preference.  You are also going to want to shoot in RAW as the pictures straight out of the camera look nothing like the processed images.  

 

After a firework has launched but just before the break happens, press and hold the shutter button on the remote.  You can hold the shutter for a few seconds after the break to get falling trails.  This will give you a nice clean image of the firework.  48202088996_f2e3678800_z.jpg

 

To get a trail from the launcher in the image, when a firework is launched, press the shutter button on the remote and hold it down.  Keep holding it down until after the break happens.  

48202197992_6f84ae2bda_z.jpg

 

There is also a technique of getting multiple breaks in one exposure by covering the lens with something dark like a piece of construction paper between launches.  I've done this before using my hand and it has come out ok.  Just make sure that you don't touch the lens.  After you've taken the pictures, import them into Lightroom or another RAW editor and start playing around with the sliders until you like how the image looks.  

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