Tips for Firework Photography

It's that time of the year again where we see and hear the flashes and bangs of fireworks in the sky. Whilst they are beautiful to look at they can be tricky to photograph. Here are a few quick tips to get you started.

  • Scout the location before you start. Pick a viewpoint that locates your shot. ie. something in the frame that tells you where the photo was taken and maybe gives your shot a sense of scale.
  • Use a tripod to help keep your camera steady as your exposures will likely be more than a second in length.
  • Use manual focus and try focusing on something bright in the frame before the fireworks start.
  • Once the show starts practice getting your timing right. Experiment with different shutter speeds for different effects.

  • Leave enough room in your frame to allow for the height of the fireworks.
  • Use exposures between 2 and 30 seconds and make sure to do a test shot before starting. Use Manual or Aperture priority modes.
  • If its not completely dark yet try using a neutral density filter or even a polarising filter to help lengthen your exposure time.

  • If you have a zoom lens try doing a 'zoom burst' during the exposure! The effect can look amazing. A zoom burst is achieved by zooming your lens while the shutter is open and recording your exposure.
  • Another trick to try is to de-focus your lens during exposure. Can give interesting results like the one in red below.

Most of all have fun and take loads of pics. It's a really great thing to try photographing and the results can be very rewarding. Finally... stay safe and keep as far away from the action as possible.

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