Jul 4, 2005

Tips for Photographing Fireworks

For all of my American friends I thought I would post some tips for photographing fireworks on this 4th of July.

Use a tripod
A tripod is the best way to ensure wonderfully crisp photos of the fireworks. If you do not own a tripod, brace your camera on a railing, the back of a chair or a table, or against a column or tree. This helps keep the camera from moving and blurring the pictures.

Find a good position before the show
Tree branches and fireworks don't mix, so be sure to find a good location. You probably won't be moving around, so search for a position where buildings and people won't obstruct your view.
Photographing fireworks

Use a slow ISO setting
If your digital camera has different ISO settings available, try setting this number to the lowest number possible. A low ISO setting will keep the shutter open longer so you can better catch the full bloom of the firework bursts as they spread across the sky. Your photos will also contain less noise (unsightly colored blotches in the dark sky) Be sure to brace yourself and hold the camera steady!

Take lots of pictures
It's hard to estimate how long the fireworks will keep bursting. And, of course, you'll want to try and catch the bursts at their maximum bloom. So keep snappin' away to make sure you go home with pictures to treasure.

Try advanced exposure modes
If your camera has advanced exposure modes, try them out. Look for a mountain icon on your camera to shoot in landscape mode. With aperture mode ("A" mode), select 11 or 16 for your f-stop setting and hold the camera steady. Select the slowest shutter speed in shutter mode. And with manual exposure, hold the shutter button down for 2 to 5 seconds to catch several bursts.

Bring a small flashlight
Consider that you might need to see the camera's buttons or you may drop a flsh memory card on the ground. Better to be safe than sorry.

and most of all....
Have Fun!!