Six easy tips for shooting fireworks this summer!
Summer months across the globe typically bring some spectacular fireworks celebrations. Snapping a great shot might be easier than you think. While you can shoot in an auto feature for firework scenes many cameras now have, shooting on manual configuration can be well worth the minor effort.
Here are six easy, handy tips you can follow to help you take your fireworks imagery to its next level of creativity.
1. Turn off the flash
Many people make the mistake of using their flash to shoot fireworks or something another distant object in the night sky. That's not going to help - at all. Turn off your flash. If you're using an SLR, lower the flash and set the camera to manual can help it from not going off.
2. Use a tripod
Using a tripod can help tremendously in photographing fireworks. You'll be able to use a longer shutter speed, get more creative, and shoot from angles that might be more challenging without a tripod.
3. Set your camera to manual
You'll want to be able to adjust the ISO, aperture, and shutter manually for more flexibility, and you'll definitely need that tripod as well on manual mode! Letting in more light will give you better exposure for a nighttime shot.
Start around ISO 100 and set your lens to f/8 with one-second shutter speed. Play around a little bit with your settings. This is when you can get creative.
4. Take a lot of pictures
Rule one of photography could be: "take a lot of pictures and then take some more!" Bring enough memory storage and shoot a lot of images. Once you're back home or in your studio, begin purging, curating, and editing your images. It can take 100 shots to get one good one.
You only have so much time during a fireworks show, so shoot away. If you're shooting RAW images, you'll need to do some post-processing anyway.
5. Frame your shot
Sure, you can just shoot pictures of some beautiful fireworks up in a dark sky, but for a real stunner, try and frame something of interest to provide some depth and interest. That can be a body of water reflecting the fireworks or a skyline of buildings or trees.
If you can anticipate the perspective from which to shoot, that can save you some time once the show gets going. Try different angles, frames, and even backgrounds. Pull out a zoom lens and experiment with that. Adjust the focal length during exposure to achieve different results.
6. Not your phone
You might be tempted to shoot fireworks on your phone. Yes, the technology has advanced tremendously, but not really enough to get the same quality of images you would with a decent point and shoot or DSLR.
You can't control the amount of light entering the phone's camera, and you can't control the aperture. If you want to try a few shots, turn on the HDR and, if at all possible, set the ISO as low as possible and shutter speed short. Try shooting in burst mode as well. If you can't shoot on manual on your phone, it's going to be tough getting the exposure correct.
One suggestion if you have an iPhone: touch and drag the focus box to separate metering and autofocus. Then, lock onto something bright and set the exposure settings. *This stops the phone from brightening the dark sky around the fireworks.) Use an editing app later to make any adjustments needed.
Good luck with your fireworks' photography this summer! Remember, take a lot of images and try different perspectives, frames, and get creative.