Tips for Firework Photography
I had a chance to watch the Aberdeen's new year firework this year and took some photos. I think firework photography is more of preparation than the photography skill as you have only a few minutes to take all the shots you want.
Few suggestions for firework photography:
- Arrive well in advance to see the location and find the best spot.
- If the firework happens in winter, make sure you have proper clothing. Feeling cold during the photography, means you will loose your concentration and that's not a situation you want to be during the few minutes of the photography.
- 2 essential gears you need, tripod and shutter release/remote . If you don't have these, I would say forget about taking the photos and enjoy watching the firework!
- Now you are prepared, standing in a suitable location, set your camera to manual mode. Start with the aperture of f/11 or f/14 with a low ISO, I would say 100.
- Set your camera to manual focus. Focus on an area of sky where the fireworks will be, or on an object the same distance away. If you don’t change your position, you don't need to change the focus. Remember that the Auto focus doesn't work well for taking the photos in this instant.
- You need the long exposures to capture the fire work. What I normally set for shutter speed is to set it in the bulb mode and with the shutter release or remote, I control the time. You probably need a shutter speed between 5 to 15 second depends on the firework.
- Now the show starts, try to take as much photo as you can at the start of the show. After a while, the sky will be filled with smoke and the photos don't look very nice. Control the shutter speed yourself with the shutter release depends on the duration of each burst. Try not to have a very long exposure as it you can easily over expose the bursts.
-Don't forget to set your camera to take photos in RAW if it has the option. You will have more flexibility to do some post processing if required.
Here are some of the photos I took this year.