With the following fireworks photography tips you will get the best results for yopur pictures. Fireworks are truly a site to behold, the way they light up the sky is in the least glorious and breathtaking. It’s no wonder people set time aside to watch them unravel. Now imagine capturing all this beauty in a photograph. Pretty cool, huh? Unfortunately, many people do not have the know-how on photographing fireworks. The challenge is in being fast and steady enough to take the shot at just the right moment. If you do it too soon or too late, you end up missing the whole thing. If being able to take a great fireworks photos is on your bucket list, consider this your lucky day. By following very simple tips you can get your own fireworks photos and maybe even get to hang them up some day.
Fireworks Photography Tip #1
Get to the site before time
Believe it or not, you are not the only one trying to snatch up some fireworks pictures. The photographers at such events are as many as the watchers. So, you best come early in order to get and in some cases, defend your spot. Being on the scene early will also give you time to take in the landscape and come up with some interesting ideas for your shots. You can use the extra time to set up and adjust your camera to the correct settings. It is quite disappointing to arrive late, end up missing a good spot and rush through the whole process hence ending up with some wack photos.
Fireworks Photography Tip #2
Forget the flash
There are many photo shoots that require flash lighting but a fireworks display is not one. The sky is already lit so using your flash is only battery draining and might end up disturbing the natural lighting of the photo. That said, the flash stays off. Period.
Fireworks Photography Tip #3
Do the focusing yourself
The first rule of focusing when it comes to capturing fireworks is that the autofocus should be off. In most cameras, auto focus detects faces and (for lack of a better word) focuses on them. In a fireworks display, it is pretty hard to focus on one object as very many things are happening in the background. So, your best bet at nailing this is to do the focusing manually.
Focus on the location where the fireworks are expected to be or use features you want in the picture to get your bearing. Such features include; the skyline, landmarks and surrounding buildings and even the people around in some cases.
To find good focus, set your lens at infinity in the focusing scale and work your way to the ideal focus. At times, focusing ahead of time will not cut it. You will have to adjust the focus with the size and location of the fireworks. So stay keen or you will miss it.
Fireworks Photography Tip #4
You will definitely need a Tripod
This is yet another aspect on photographing fireworks that many people get wrong. Trying to photograph fireworks without a tripod is a waste of time. Why? Well simply because you are capturing a distant object that happens to be streaks of light. Stability is of vital importance otherwise, you are setting yourself up for a disappointing blurry photo. Bear with the trouble of carrying a tripod, it will pay off eventually.
Fireworks Photography Tip #5
Shutter release is a must!
As mentioned earlier, stability is critical when it comes to photographing fireworks. Pressing down on the shutter button will shake the camera which will lead to a blurry photo. Moreover, while using your hands, you are bound to be slower than depending on the shutter release and end up missing the action. Go for wired options or better yet, slaved.
When setting the shutter speed, you don’t want it to be too slow or too fast. The former will result in a blown out photo while the latter will cause you to lose all the important details that make fireworks photos so gorgeous. Depending on your camera, a shutter speed between 5 to 10 seconds will do just fine for this process.
Fireworks Photography Tip #6
Tweaks on the settings
Other than the shutter and focus, there are other settings that you need to pay attention to in order to increase your chances of a well detailed and clear photo. For instance, chose your white balance settings wisely as they play a big role on the overall color composition of the photograph. Professional photographers advise on going for cloudy or daylight options as they do not alter the color of the photo in general.
Also, consider your framing options beforehand. While this is challenging since you cannot be sure of the firework’s exact location, you can use the landscape to guide you especially if you intend to include it in the photo. A rule of thumb when framing fireworks pics is to give yourself more room in the frame than what you would require while shooting stationary objects. You would rather crop the photo later than leave out parts of it due to a small frame.
Ensure you are using a narrow aperture and low ISO to synchronize all the setting hence better chances of a great photograph.
Fireworks Photography Tip #7
Get your creative juices flowing
The whole point of any kind of photography is creativity. Fireworks shooting is no exception. If you understand your camera well enough, you will be able to play with the settings to achieve unique results. Remember that fireworks shooting is not only about the fireworks. Consider adding a unique background and experiment with different locations before settling on where to set your tripod.
No lie, taking fireworks photos is a bit of a challenge. But if you can achieve stability and follow the tips recommended above, you will be a pro at this in no time. Anticipate for some tweaks on the settings every now and then but don’t focus too much on this and end up missing the whole show. Lastly, whatever you do, do not leave your creativity at home. You need it now more than ever.
When it comes to creativity, we have a great DIY tutorial for creating your own photo calendar!