How to Photograph Fireworks

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Fireworks are incredibly fun to photograph. It may take some practice, but it is easy enough to come away from your first fireworks show with some decent photos. Seeing the results of your photographs is very exciting. I would like to help you understand the process for photographing beautiful memorable fireworks shows without a lot of mystery or confusion. I want to encourage you to photograph your fireworks show from your personal view.

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Shoot in manual mode without flash.

This allows you to adjust the aperture and exposure. To start you want to set your ISO to 100, f/11, at ½ second. If your photos are not bright enough at first, you can adjust the shutter speed without changing the aperture.

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Get to the show early to find the right view.

Arrive early to the show so you can find a spot that allows you to think about the background of the show and the foreground. Think over the elements of your specific scene and how you might want them to show up in your photos. Manually set your focus for your show before it starts to get dark. A lot of times you will know where the show will be so you can focus on that area, if not focus on an object the same distance away. When the fireworks start, you will be prepared.

Long Exposure Will Mean Slow Shutter Speeds.

Maintain clear focus by using a sturdy tripod and a remote or shutter release cord. It is important if you are including a city scape or other scene element with a horizon line, to make sure to keep it straight. Make sure you have your camera a level on your tripod.


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Shooting in Bulb Mode for Action Shots

Shooting in bulb mode lets you create your own custom timed exposures based on the conditions of your shoot. Use a remote to keep from touching your camera. Press down your shutter as the fireworks launch and hold It down until the burst fades, usually a few seconds.

Avoid the Smoke from the Fireworks

You will be much more comfortable upwind of the smoke of the fireworks show. If you are shooting from a good position the smoke can add interesting qualities to your photos.



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Tell a Story About the Show

You can more easily tell a story about the scene of the event if you add people to your shots. When you are shooting people as your main subject you can expose for the light reflections on their faces, this will help you use your light meter accurately.

Fourth of July 2018 Fireworks Seattle Washington

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