My 10-step guide to photographing fireworks!
Thinking of photographing the fireworks tonight? Here's my 10-step guide! I used the techniques below to capture the view above, which was taken as the clock struck midnight in Reykjavik in Iceland! (6 seconds, f14, 160 ISO, Lumix GX1 with 7-14mm)
1: First the gear: you will need a camera that can take exposures lasting several seconds and a tripod to keep it steady.
2: Location: The best fireworks shots include a landmark. Try to find out where the fireworks will go off so you can choose the best angle.
3: Try to bag a spot with an uninterrupted view, where you'll also minimise getting knocked by other viewers. This can be very difficult.
4: It's almost impossible for a camera to autofocus on fireworks, so set the focus manually on a distant subject before the display starts and don't touch it again.
5: Choose Manual exposure mode and set the sensitivity to the lowest ISO number. A good starting point for the aperture is f8 and for the shutter speed try four seconds.
6: Trigger the shutter with a cable release or two-second self-timer when you hear the rockets launching. Hopefully they'll explode in your frame during the exposure.
7: If you want brighter trails, open the aperture, using a smaller f-number. For darker trails which retain their colour, close the aperture with a bigger f-number.
8: If you want longer trails, use a longer shutter speed. If you want shorter trails, use a shorter shutter speed.
9: Don't be afraid to adjust your position, angle and focal length during the display for a better composition. It's all about trial and error as you go along.
10: You may want to disable long exposure Noise Reduction as this will take a 'dark frame' lasting as long as the original exposure. You may miss fireworks as a result.
Good luck and Happy New Year!http://www.cameralabs.com/