Fireworks Photography – What to do and what not to do.

It’s close to that fireworks time of the year and we thought it would be a good time to post some tips on fireworks photography.

Most modern compact point and shoot digital cameras include a “fireworks” scene mode. You can usually access that mode by going into “SCN” or “Scene” mode on your camera and selecting the firworks mode.

Here’s some tips if you’re using an SLR:

Manually set your ISO to 100
Lens Choice – Wide Angle Zoom would be most appropriate
Auto White Balance or Daylight
Set your lens to manual focus then focus to infinity
Set your camera to Manual exposure – Try 5 seconds at f/ 16
Carefully release the shutter to capture from one to several bursts
Evaluate your exposure
Evaluate sharpness by zooming in on your image – adjust as needed

Improving Fireworks photos:
Shoot with a tripod – it will give a more natural cascade of light
Carefully release the shutter without moving the camera or use an electronic release.

Other Techniques:
Set your camera to B and lock open your shutter – keep the lens covered with a dark hat and remove the hat to capture a burst then recover and repeat to capture several bursts. Just be carefull not to bump into your camera.

Also – you’re most likely to be taking these images after a nice, family-friendly, backyard barbeque. By “nice, family-friendly”, I mean one-too-many-drinks and more hot dogs than Takeru Kobayashi can eat. Another good reason to use a tripod!

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