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.
• 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: