“Essentially what photography is LIFE LIT UP.”
–Sam Abell



"The idea is to live your life in a way that makes you feel LIT UP.
ALIVE. EXCITED. BRIGHT.
Half-hearted anything won't get you there"
-unknown


 

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10 Tips To Help You Capture The BOOM!

July 02, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Woo Hoo! It's fireworks time again!!!

I love a good fireworks show, who doesn't. They are lots of fun to watch and.... they are even more fun to photograph. This image below was taken at a small town fireworks show. We were just sitting there minding our own business and then BOOOM!!!
They were bursting just barely above our heads. This is not a composite image... this is simply a single frame... one shot... click - boom - done!

 

Fireworks - Ellinwood, Kansas - July 4, 2015

About this time every year I post my favorite tips to help you get your best fireworks photos, to help you have more fun shooting them with a lens than with a lighter! It's safer too. I have never burned my finger shooting photos of fireworks but I have burned myself shooting the fireworks.

It's a little challenging, getting those amazing Fourth of July pictures, but it is so much fun and when you get that CLICK and that BOOM to sync up just right..... those Oooohs and Awwwws - will last a lifetime.

And so in keeping with tradition here we go with 10 Tips To Capturing The Boom.

 

  1. Give your lens a good cleaning before you head out. There will be enough smoke and dirt in the air; you don't need to start with it on your lens too.
  2. Pack extra batteries, a flashlight, a comfy folding chair or a nice big blanket, a cold drink or two, and plenty of insect repellent. Just don't spray that repellent around your gear and be sure to wash it off your hands before you start setting up your camera. We wouldn't want any greasy fingers on our gear now would we?
  3. If your camera has a long exposure noise reduction setting in the menu find it and use it!
  4. Set your ISO low. 100 or 200 works well for this job.
  5. Set your aperture somewhere around f/13 to f/18.
  6. Shoot with a wider lens like a 28mm. When you want to fill the frame try something like a  45mm. And if you really want to fill the frame with those bursts that are lighting up the night sky try something even longer like say maybe 105mm.
  7. Securely attach your camera to a steady tri-pod. The sturdier the camera - the sharper the image.
  8. Use a remote shutter release or a shutter release cable to avoid creating movement when you click that button.
  9. Switch your lens to manual focus and your focus at infinity. After all those falling sparks are usually pretty far away from your viewing location.
  10. Shoot in manual mode or better yet bulb mode with exposure times starting around 1/2 a second and taking as long as 6 seconds. The longer exposure times creating more streaking with the falling colorful embers.

Bonus tip... Experiment with longer exposure times by using something like a dark baseball cap to cover the end of your lens between bursts while the shutter remains open. Be very careful not to bump your camera while you to this! With practice you can capture several separate bursts within one single frame.

Fireworks - 2017 - Osborne, Ks

Have a happy and safe 4th!


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