Photographing fireworks is never a simple task, with the quick movement of the element and the high exposure of the firework itself, there’s a lot of things to consider. However, a fireworks display is one of the most momentous occasions for any celebration, so being able to capture this properly on camera will allow you to document this event to keep forever. Whether you’ve been looking for fireworks for sale and want to set up your own display to capture, or you’re attending an organised event, here are some top tips on photographing a firework display event.
The biggest thing for any photography event is to be prepared, and none more so than a fireworks display. As the object you are capturing is constantly moving, it’s important that you have a good understanding of the location in which you are shooting. Get to a place with an unobstructed view and have multiple reference points which can act as a good backdrop in the image, and make sure you have plenty of memory cards and battery life as in advance of the event.
Each camera will require slightly different settings and you will need to do some tests prior to the event. Generally, you will want to have a slow exposure and shutter speed between 1-15 seconds in order to properly capture any light trails. Using a tripod is essential for steadiness of capture, but if you do not have access to something that will keep your camera steady, then you may want to consider increasing the ISO in order to increase your camera’s sensitivity to light. Ideally, you should reduce the ISO to 50 and aperture to around f/32 if the camera isn’t recording enough light. Some cameras may even recommend a starting point for aperture at f/11 and low ISO of 200, depending on the requirements. Make sure to avoid shutter lag on your camera so that you can keep snapping away.
Let The Smoke Clear
While you may want to continually snap all of the wonderful elements of the display, consider letting the smoke clear in between your big shots so that you can get a clear background. This will help to reduce the time spent editing the images at a later date and can help to improve the quality of the overall image.
One of the biggest mistakes amateur photographers tend to make is using auto-focus, which takes control away from them when taking the shot. Auto-focus won’t always hone in on the appropriate object, especially if there are reference points in the background, which could lead to low quality and ‘fuzzy’ images. Choose manual focus and consider focusing about one third of the way between you and the firework. This is based on the concept of hyperfocal distance, and should provide good depth of field, keeping the image sharp.
Capturing photographs of fireworks isn’t the simplest of exercises, but by using our tips above, you can be certain to get stunning memories on camera that you can look back on in years to come.
Image Credits: rovenimages.com