Summer is coming and the 4th of July celebrations (in the US, of course) are upon us. This means that we will have the opportunity to shoot fireworks, this ever-wonderful show. Usually, we will get only a few minutes to shoot and we don’t want to wait until next year for another opportunity. So, here are YLovePhoto’s top Y-tips for a better fireworks photography.
- Know the place: You may use maps or scout the location, but be prepared and since there will be a lot of people and moving around is less of an option when the show starts, be sure to know exactly where you want to be (and be there beforehand).
- No flash: It won’t help for the fireworks, it could only light up some foreground elements in front of the show (and light balance will be difficult to obtain). It’s better/easier to use the shadow of these foreground objects, if it is easily recognizable.
- Use a tripod: It’s night time, there is light, but not enough. Apertures will be wide and speed will be low. Get a heavy, sturdy one (Avoid being bumped into by people and limit exposure to the wind: All these make blurry photos).
- No autofocus: You need to focus at the infinity and then go back to manual.
- Use long shutter speeds: The longer speeds will allow filling the pictures with more light (But don’t over do it; Several light flowers are good, a bunch of colored streaks is probably not right).
- Experiment with apertures: If there is more than the fireworks to be placed in the picture (a good idea), try experimenting with the aperture to choose the best depth-of-field.
- Have a flashlight: At night, it will be difficult to find your way around.
- Have replacement parts ready: Batteries or Flash cards must be in an easily accessible location (without light, it’s easy to reach for your pockets, right?)
- Don’t check the pictures on the LCD: There is no time for this, shoot, you’ll look later. (Option: Check only 1 or 2 images at the beginning, nothing after that).
- Frame: Think and try different compositions and frames (panoramic, vertical, etc.)
Happy shooting, now!