Happy Canada Day to our Canadian friends and Independence Day to the Americans! We have a lot of firework celebrations coming up. I’m going to share with you the best way I’ve found to photograph those fireworks so you can have fun photos to scrap and add to your celebratory albums. Keep in mind these steps are for those with DSLR cameras. Some point and shoots now come with a firework setting so be sure to check out your manual to see if yours does!
There are a few settings you’ll need to adjust so be sure to have your manual (or Google) handy to learn how to adjust these settings on your specific camera. You’ll want to shoot on Manual mode for best results and some of the tips below can only be changed in Manual mode.
Photographing fireworks takes a bit of experimentation, especially as far as the length of the lens is concerned. If you know where your fireworks will show up you’re already ahead of the game. Once you’ve decided where you’re going to set up, let’s get started.
You’ll need some sort of tripod and a remote release (if you don’t have this, use the automatic timer). The reason for this is that you’re going to be leaving the shutter open for a very long time and even the movement of you clicking the shutter will cause movement in your photo. Like in this one (I had the camera on the truck so the boys where constantly moving it)
For your iso – keep it low an iso of 100 is good!
Aperture – keep it small (or a high number) from f8 and up, why not use 16 or 22? Your shutter will be open for a while so it won’t matter.
Shutter – this is where it gets tricky. You can start off by using the B or bulb setting if you have a remote release. This allows you to keep it open as long as you want (like a few seconds) if you don’t have a remote release this is where you’ll need to play with it. Try 3 seconds for a starting point.
Focus – this is where most people have trouble is getting anything in focus. If you switch your camera to Manual focus (which is a switch on your lens) and move the focus ring to the infinity symbol you’ll get pretty much all the fireworks in focus!
Celebrate, have fun, and good luck! Don’t forget to enter the July photo challenge – Celebrate!