Fireworks photography seems easy, but it demands a little preparation and thinking to get the best shots. I, Nitin Khanna would love to share few tips with you on how to shoot fireworks. Photographing fireworks require you to take complete manual control over the camera, so if you have never stayed away from auto mode before, now is the time to do it.
So let’s talk about a few things that you need to know about photographing fireworks before attempting it out…
1. Use a tripod
You will need a tripod to photograph fireworks. As you will be shooting in the dark and exposures are expected to be 10 secs or more, the camera must be placed securely so that camera movement does not ruin your shot. Also make sure that all the legs of a tripod are tightly sealed so they won’t slide. Even a little amount of slip can spoil the picture, so don’t take that chance.
If it is so dark outside that you cannot even see your hand, the easiest technique is to manually focus the camera to infinity. You will be far enough from the fireworks that once the lens is set to infinity, you can just set it there. One more thing that you can do is, shine a torch onto something about one third of the way and focus on that point.
3. Turn off the flash
Fireworks are so bright that using your camera’s flash won’t do anything to your shot. If you are using an SLR, lowering the flash and setting the camera to Manual mode will turn off the flash.
4. Playing with the exposure
It is easy to overexpose or underexpose your fireworks shots. If you think that your fireworks are too bright, try changing your settings to get a darker sky and crustier fireworks.
5. Use reflections
If you are lucky enough to be photographing fireworks near a water body, then reflections work really great.
6. Look out your location in daytime
If you want to visit a local fireworks display, then it is certainly worth casing the joint first! Observe everything earlier; you should know from where the fireworks are going to be released and where the crowd will be, as it will give you an impression of where best to set up.
7. Find a box or stepladder
If you are lucky enough to get on some higher ground to shoot, you are doing great; if not, you might find yourself trapped behind a crowd of viewers. To frame firework neatly at the base of your shot, you will definitely need your tripod extended to its full height.
So, these are some basic tips that can help you capture the best fireworks shots. And If you are looking to Create Starburst effects , you can read my article on Creating Starburst effects here.