Firework Photography

 
Certain areas are iconic to a city’s skyline and can often be the best backdrops for firework photos. Photograph/Scott Cresswell

Certain areas are iconic to a city’s skyline and can often be the best backdrops for firework photos. Photograph/Scott Cresswell

Get The Basics Right
A tripod and remote are essential. Visit the location beforehand so that you can get a good spot to shoot from. You can choose a place upwind from the billowing smoke so that you can use the textures of the smoke to your advantage in the photographs. Also, make sure that you set up your camera settings before the firework shows begin so that you don’t miss any shots.

Bulb Mode for the Ideal Shutterspeed
Instead of choosing a shutterspeed, use the Bulb mode to capture a complete firework burst. This mode can drain the batteries of your camera, so keep an extra battery handy and avoid using Live View. If you have a compact camera, you can capture bursts using the camera’s Fireworks mode.

Use a slow shutterspeed of around 1sec, switch to manual focus and turn the focusing ring during the exposure, for some surreal effects! Photograph/Benjamin Lehman

Use a slow shutterspeed of around 1sec, switch to manual focus and turn the focusing ring during the exposure, for some surreal effects! Photograph/Benjamin Lehman

Save Some Time!
While long exposure noise reduction is essential in night photography, it leads to the photographs taking longer to write on the card. As fireworks take just a few seconds, this excess time can make you lose some shots. You can choose to remove noise in postprocessing.

Less is More
Restraint is the key while photographing fireworks. Having too many bursts in a single image can make the photograph look overcrowded and it can also cause overexposure. At the same time avoid generic firework shots by adding interest to your photographs with the city’s skyline, spectators, architectural structures and other such elements.

Make Fascinating Focus Blurs
This technique involves manipulating the lens during exposure. You need to manually focus and defocus the lens ring during a long exposure. This will involve a lot of trial and error but willresult in interesting petal-like firework bursts.

Tags: 2014, august, better photography, bulb mode, compact camera, Diwali, Firework Photography, focus blur, long exposure noise reduction, Noise, postprocessing, shutterspeed, tips and tricks