HOW TO TAKE EPIC SPARKLER PHOTOGRAPHS
Having researched firework and sparkler photography in detail, it can be compared to taking your first picture – not as good as expected but getting there!
Auto settings will not give the best results so here are some recommendations:
- Use a tripod where possible – if not try to ensure that your camera is on a firm surface
- Make sure it is dark – you would be surprised how many people try to use them in daylight. Because your shutter speed will be open for longer it will pick up any other light source
- You will need to manually set up/adjust the ISO and aperture. There is going to be some variation as light pollution nearby, the light from neighbouring buildings etc and of course any light in the sky will result in the need to adjust, but as a rule of thumb ISO 400 is a good place to start
- Aperture – start at F4 which should offer jus the right level of focus whilst maintaining field depth
- Shutter speed – professionals recommend this at around 5 seconds – this setting essentially means that you have 5 seconds to create your sparkler drawing. Take a practice shot and increase/decrease your shutter speed to get the right level of lighting. You will need a few sparklers. NB – just remember that if you are writing ‘I LOVE YOU’ you will need to write backwards from right to left as the camera is facing you otherwise it will end up backwards.
Whether you are taking shots of the kids and their simple circles and squiggles or ‘Marry Me, it’s all fully possible. We have 2 different kinds of sparkler in stock – The Giant Legacy Sparkler lasts just under 2 minutes and gives beautiful golden sparks and at 98p for 5, they are great value for money too. Monster Sparklers are just 74p for a pack of 5 and last an incredible 1 minute and 45 seconds so they are great value for money too. Available in store here at Head Office or indeed online via our website BUT please note that sparklers are classed as explosives so they have to be carried by a specialist courier so delivery can be quite expensive.
The making of sparklers is a fascinating process where single lengths of wire are fixed into a rack which is clamped tightly with rows of wires, all ready for dipping in the pyrotechnic compound (slurry). The compound is mad with a mixture of Boric Acid, Barium Nitrate, water, cornflour (for binding) iron filings and aluminium powder (which is highly volatile until mixed into the slurry). Then the prepared wires are dipped into the mixture, dried off and then dipped again before being left to ‘cure’ for a couple of weeks before they are packaged and despatched. Some manufacturers cut down on cost by using a single coat of the pyrotechnic mixture, resulting in a lacklustre sparkler.
Enjoy your attempts to get the perfect pic and let us see your end results.