How To Photograph Fireworks: 9 Professional Photography Tips
Contributed by Helga Herrera December 29, 2017
Like they say in Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re going to get.” Well, firework photos are JUST like that, the patterns, timing and perspective are all in constant change… and you never know what you’re going to get.
It is always a surprise to look back at your firework photos, whether it be a pleasant one or not is a different story!
So, to help you out here are 9 tips to assure that the 2 hours spent with your camera pointed at the sky were worth it! Planning is key, fireworks don’t last very long, so you need to be ready:
1. Make sure you have an unobstructed view of the fireworks. In Singapore, good places include Marina Bay Sands, Promenade or One Fullerton, just to mention a few. The angle might be different, but you will still be able to catch amazing views.
2. If you’re taking the photos from a hotel or a building around the area, avoid shooting through glass, your photos won’t be as sharp. If you don’t have any other choice than shooting through a closed window, make sure that all the lights in the room are turned off, so that you can minimize light reflection.
3. You will need a wide angle lens (at least 35 mm), a tripod and a remote control. The tripod and the remote control will help you avoid any shakiness when taking the photo.
4. You have to mount your camera on a stable tripod, otherwise, your photos will be blurry due to the shakiness of your hands. If there is wind, make sure that your tripod doesn’t shake, use weights or hold it steadily.
5. Use a remote control or the self-timer (2 seconds), to avoid shaking the camera when you press the shutter.
6. Settings may vary, but typically I suggest using the lowest possible ISO (200 or less, depending on the camera), F18 and a shutter speed between 3.5 and 8 seconds. Shutter speed depends on how many individual fireworks you want to capture in the same photo, how many are shot at the same time and the ISO that you are using.
7. If you want more control over the shutter speed, you can work on “B – Bulb” instead of “M – Manual”.
8. The best photos are the first ones, before there isn’t any smoke. The last fireworks can be stunning, but the background is full of smoke and the contrast against a black or blue sky is partially lost.
9. Enjoy the fireworks!
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