TOP TIPS FOR FABULOUS FIREWORK PHOTOGRAPHY
In these uncertain times, the Covid crisis has hit us all hard and continues to impact on our daily lives. For many, Bonfire Night will be a very different celebration this year as the ‘rule of 6’ prevents mass gatherings resulting in there been very few organised displays this year.
Many will therefore be holding their own mini displays in their own gardens/fields. So why not get your camera out and take a few photographs for posterity.
The issue with firework photography is that it takes practice and some experimentation as you will have to make several adjustments before you start and you are more likely to get the PERFECT shot.
- USE A TRIPOD – make sure it is very sturdy one as ANY movement or wobble will just destroy any attempts at photographing fireworks
- SPARE BATTERY – as long exposure shots use huge amounts of power so you will need a spare to make sure you don’t miss the best of the fun
- ISO – LOW This is to prevent ‘noise’ affecting your image, creating blue areas
- TURN OFF LONG EXPOSURE NOISE REDUCTION
- DO NOT USE LIVE VIEW – this is mainly used for shooting video footage and the screen is not necessary and look through the viewfinder instead
- SET YOUR CAMERA TO MANUAL
- SET APERTURE TO F 5.6 OR F8
- SET SHUTTER SPEED TO BETWEEN 2 AND 10 SECONDS – once you have the chance to have a test run, the light conditions will dictate your choice as it may be too dark or too bright
- FOCUS YOUR LENS AHEAD OF TIME – get in focus before starting the fireworks and once you have set it up make sure you turn off the autofocus
- USE A NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER – this will help you to get a longer exposure without overexposing the image
- TRY TO SHOOT AT THE BEGINNING OR END OF THE DISPLAY – if you do it at the beginning, or at the end, you will firstly get less smoke and you will get the bigger effects at the finale of the show
- PICK A SPOT – choosing where to set up is imperative – try to get where you are unlikely to have someone in front of you but remember that most displays will have fanned firework effects so if you try to take image side on. You will not capture them
- SET UP WHERE YOU WILL GET A GOOD EXPANSE OF SKY IN VIEW – just remember that some fireworks burst much lower than others and rockets usually reach much higher in the sky
- FACE TOWARDS THE EAST WHERE POSSIBLE – if it is not fully dark, if you are positioned facing eastwards, it will get dark quicker
- CHECK WIND DIRECTION/SPEED – this may dissipate the firework effects very quickly and or change them out of shape