Tech Tuesday: Shooting fireworks

Nope, not talking about how to set them off but how to capture them in a photograph. I shot the local show then when I posted them on FacebookI got a comment saying ” My photos never look like this” Perfect reason for a tutorial.

How to achieve this look

First you must shoot them correctly. I shoot only RAW format. The show was to start at 9 PM and as I had never been to the show I got there early to scout out a good location. There was a pond, at the base of the levee and I sat up at the end of it. I first mounted my 55-250 not knowing exactly how far away I would be.

I always shoot in manual exposure and pre-focus at the expected distance. I set f11 and 3.2 seconds as my exposure figuring they would be firing pretty fast and I didn’t want to many explosions per shot. I also put on my Vivitar wireless remote shutter release and took a test shot. Once the shooting started I was constantly checking and adjusting the exposure. After the first few shots I changed to the 18-55 and ended up at 5 seconds, firing the shutter as soon as it closed from the previous shot.

Once home I imported to lightroom, keyworded and added them to a collection. then I selected the best to develop. Here is a video of that.

I hope this helps and you are ready for your next show.


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