Fireworks are spectacular and appear for just moments. Many people shy away from trying to photograph them because they feel it is too difficult or they would not be able to end up with anything good. I say, go for it! It's a lot of fun and you might end up with some fabulous photos!
Many of you will be attending Independence Day celebrations - of course, these parties always culminate in a spectacular fireworks display. Here are some fireworks photography tips to help you get the best fireworks photos ever!
Here's what you'll need:
1. A camera that allows you to shoot in "Shutter Priority" or "Bulb"
2. A tripod
3. A cable release to trigger your camera
4. Plenty of memory and charged batteries
If you are using a Point and Shoot camera, see if your camera has a "Fireworks Scene" mode and put it on the tripod. Fire the camera right after the rockets fire.
If you are using a DSLR, attach your camera to your tripod. Set your camera to "Manual Focus" and set the lens to "Infinity". Set your mode to “S” or Shutter or "Tv" and set your exposure between 1 and 2 seconds at ISO 200. Use your cable release to fire the camera immediately following the rocket launch. Cable release helps reduce vibrations. You can shoot in either JPG or RAW, however RAW files will let you adjust the exposure a little easier afterwards in software to get your ideal image.
You can also experiment using "Bulb" setting for those DLSRs that include it. If you cannot find the "Bulb" setting in your Mode Dial, set your camera to "Manual Mode" (M) and slow the shutter speed all the way down to make the Bulb appear; this forces the shutter to remain open for as long as you leave the shutter release Open. Set your Aperture to f4 and your ISO around 200. If you want to brighten your pictures, raise the ISO to 400 or so. Click the shutter when you hear the rockets fire and let go of your shutter as soon as the burst is over.
If your camera includes Live View, try using it so that you can enjoy the show too!