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Firework Photo Helpful Hints

Jun 19, 2008
First tip is to check your results sporadically throughout the firework display. I usually take a few shots at the beginning and check on their quality before continuing to shot any more photos. There is no need to check every shot once you have everything set up accurately, but do examine shots periodically to make sure the entire batch is not potentially off.

Here are a few helpful tips when taking pictures of fireworks:

"Find Out the Direction of the Wind - You want to shoot up wind, so it goes Camera, Fireworks, Smoke. Otherwise they'll come out REALLY hazy."

Shoot From a Distance - By shooting from a little further back and with a little more lens, you can set the lens to manual focus, focus it at infinity and not have to worry about it after that.

Take full benefit of zero processing costs and shoot as many pictures as possible (more than you'd generally think needed) in order to raise your chances of getting that "perfect" shot."

"Make sure you are ready to take pictures of the first fireworks. If there isn't much wind, you are going to end up with a lot of smoke in your shot. The first explosions are usually the sharpest one."

"Get some black foam core and set your camera to bulb. Start the exposure when the fireworks start with the piece of foam core in front of the lens. Every time a burst happens move the foam core out of the way. You will get multiple firework bursts in one exposure"

Pre-focus if at all possible (you will need to be able to manually focus or lock down focus for good) before the show starts so other elements in the frame are sharp. You will only need to focus once, but it is easier to do this ahead of time instead of during the fireworks display.

Try out taking shots that incorporate a wider perspective, silhouettes and people around you watching the show. While your camera pointed at the sky can get you some wonderful shots, if you try for a different outlook you can get some shots that are a little less clich and just as impressive. Including other elements than the fireworks themselves, such as people, buildings, landmarks or wider cityscape perspectives can create phenomenal photographs.
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Looking into digital photography, ever want to start
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