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How To Shoot Firewoks

by Heena
July 25, 2013

In India we do not have firework shows like foreign country so we have to wait till Diwali to shoot.But in every country fireworks displays  a sign of celebrations and festival . And it’s so quick that the scene disappears  after a blast when we want to capture in our camera memory before they fade away forever. This  requires little bit of presetting and a handful of basic starting points and equipment. Equipment & Essentials You must have a good tripod and a cable release for your camera if you want to capture a good quality fireworks. These days tripod and cable release do not cost much and are available in few thousand.  The stability of a tripod is also a  importance factor and it’s good if you have a pan head on your tripod so that you can rotate your camera in 80D very easily and this will definitely show results in your to the final image quality. The cable release is as equally important  though we will be using shutter speed for the timing and shutter release is just to keep your hand off on the camera.    Do some on spot  research  Look at the sky and try to figure out at which spot fireworks are exploding and who is firing good quality fireworks. You need to capture as much fireworks action as possible because you don’t want to feel disappointed  later when you download your picture  to your computer and find out only 2 or 3 pic are usable . It goes without saying that you want to build in set-up time to your shoot. When possible, be sure to place something static in the frame for a point of reference to Earth. Trees, architecture, a background landscape feature, anything to add to the composition of the shot. Set up at late dusk so your eyes can see the landscape features.


but starting with Auto Focus [AF] on the lens. For the first one or two fireworks, use the camera to set your focus using AF. Chimp the display and check the sharpness and focus. If good, quickly but carefully set the lens to Manual Focus [MF] so it doesn’t keep attempting to re-focus throughout the show.

  • F/11  of F/8  aperture setting provides a good balance with between Depth of Field and Exposure Value. First, fireworks are 3-D objects with a volume. So, you want to use an F-number adequate enough to keep the entire shell of exploding, burning chemicals in sharp focus from front to back, or inside the Depth of Field.
  • ISO100 this is a general purpose ISO Value. It will  keep the burning trails of the fireworks bright and sharp enough, and it reduces the noise generally associated with longer exposures at night.
  • 10 to 15  shutter speed is recommended at start but you  can lower the shutter when fireworks light started compensate your expo. and you can pin point where the next blast is going to be.
  • Use the widest lens you have with the widest focal length just for a safe side , you can always crop the picture later

So how do you actually Shoot ?

Point your camera to where you think next blast is going to be and as soon as you see trail of rocket you press the shutter and let the shutter complete its course, and you have the nice fully exposed fireworks. So the key points are

  • Tripod
  • Cable Release
  • F11
  • ISO100
  • 5 -10 Seconds shutter
  • widest focal leangth
  • Some homework and planning

This image was taken using the settings above on a Nikon D600 with a kit 24-85 lens the very first time I shot this photo of fireworks this year at the 2013 on the occasion of  Diwali in India.


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Hi, I am heena abbasi passionate about writing and photography.I work as a freelancer blog and photo artist.Thank to photosquare for giving me chance to post my articles here and provide me a platform.

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