Tag Archives: smart phone

PHOTOGRAPHING FIREWORKS WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE

Bonfire Night is fast approaching (less than 11 weeks to go – hehe) so thoughts turn to fireworks and of course taking pictures of the event.

Whilst many have top of the range camera’s today, most of us carry a smart phone so we are always ready to get clicking at any given moment.

In most instances, the photographs we take most frequently will be in well-lit/daylight environment during the Spring and Summer months which naturally presents a whole new set of shooting conditions to consider when taking photographs of fireworks, late evening and often in damp conditions.

Here at Epic we have previously offered advice on photographing fireworks effectively but there are a number of useful hints, tips and even an app to help you to get the most out of your iPhone on November 5th.

BEST PRACTICE

• Plan ahead – You can never do enough planning as the old saying goes, fail to plan, plan to fail. There are a few things you can do to avoid being caught out this Bonfire Night it you wish to take some memorable pictures. Where to stand? Usually, we would recommend in the designated viewing area but if you want shots with a specific feature included (tree, bridge, water etc) you must be sure to get there early and set up. Check your battery is fully charged and ready to shoot and clear as much memory space as possible (you don’t want to be ready to take the shot of the night and find yourself without the space to save it). Which way is the wind blowing – this might not be an apparent ‘plan ahead’ consideration but if you bear in mind that if the wind is in your direction, you may end up in a thick cloud of smoke you really should check before you set up.

• Accessories – There are a few accessories available today for most smartphone’s which will be of benefit to you. Unless you have a spot where you can safely rest the camera without the likelihood of any movement, we heartily recommend a tripod. Here at Epic, we use a full-sized one (picked up for around a fiver) but you can get some natty mini ones which are handy if you need something pocket-sized but they can be quite expensive so make sure you shop around. There are also specialist ‘moment’ lenses but these will be more of a hindrance than a help.

• APP – There are a couple of really good ones which have been tried and tested in the fireworks industry by friends and other pyrofreaks; NightCap and Slow Shutter Cam. Out of the two, I think that you will benefit more from the Slow Shutter Cam APP as you will be able to capture the full effect that is seen by the eye with the full light trails. Again, make sure you are fully conversant with the function and give it a try before the night as you don’t really want to be fumbling around whilst you are trying to enjoy the show.

Make no mistake, firework photography is incredibly challenging but once you establish what is going to best suit your abilities and give you the best results, you can only get better.

One final point, firework displays build and you will always have the ‘finale’ to check out so keep some of your energies for the end when the sky will be full of fireworks.

We would dearly love to see your firework pics and would like to feature them on our site. Let us have them via email to the following:

[email protected]

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Firework Photography On Your Mobile

Fireworks must be one of the most beautiful things to see but when it comes to taking pictures of fireworks, it’s very much a game of point, shoot and hope for the best unless you have a few tips and hints to help you to capture ‘the perfect shot’.

Whilst firework photography is a challenge there are certain steps that can be taken to help to improve your chances. Check them out:

  • Some android and iPhones have a burst option by simply depressing the shutter and holding it down, it will take the worry out missing the shot.
  • It’s always a good idea to leave as much space as possible on your phone so before you visit your fireworks show – more memory, more photographs.
  • Try to get some perspective into your frame so if there is a person, a tree or a building in the background.
  • Hold your camera as steady as possible – best to use a tripod or something to rest on to avoid camera shake.
  • Take multiple shots at the early stages of the show and you should be well on track for the finale – just remember, the more shots you take the better chance of getting ‘the one’.
  • Don’t use the zoom, it’s pointless and will only use more memory and moving around constantly just affects the quality of the image. The zoom on a phone camera is simply to enlarge not to bring things closer to you and will automatically affect the quality.
  • On an iPhone, we recommend that you use the slow shutter cam – this is particularly useful when photographing sparklers as they allow time for the full image to be ‘burnt’ on. There is also a ‘fast camera’ which will take up to 800 shots a minute which is brilliant once you have ‘set up’ the camera for the display.
  • On some android phones, there are features like the night camera which helps to take photo’s in low light and a fast burst camera which will help to take over 30 frames per second (up to 1800 shots in a minute).
  • Avoid street lights as they will ruin your shots.
  • Position yourself so that the fireworks are in front of you and not above you.

If you take the time to get to know the full functionality of the camera facility on your phone (I know it’s a radical concept but you could even consider referring to the user-guide/instructions!). Knowledge is power so learn all you can.

Here are some fantastic shots taken from a camera phone and just remember, if all else fails, the video is brilliant…..just hit play below!

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Lighting Fireworks With Your Smartphone

LinghtM Consumer Fireworks Firing System

How cool is this! Setting off fireworks on your smartphone 🙂

May I introduce to you the lightM consumer firing system. As far as I’m aware, (and please correct me if I’m wrong) this system is a worlds first as I don’t know of any other firing system that allows you to light the pyro via a smartphone.

Simply, set up, sit back and lightM! The system can also be used on tablets as well as smartphones and makes it safer and far more enjoyable for lighting your fireworks with your family and friends. View the video below for more details.

At the moment, the project is still in the pipeline and the guys at lightM need your help to make this awesome system come to fruition. Please go to the following page to learn more about the system and please donate generously and lets make this happen – http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lightm-use-your-smartphone-to-operate-real-fireworks?c=home

The epic fireworks team would like to thank both Yuval and Elad Dagan for sharing their amazing idea and we wish them all the very best for the future.

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