How to take fireworks shot?


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Jun 24, 2008
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#1
As I'm going for NDP preview this coming weekend, and am first time using a DSLR cam to take such shots (Olympus E510). Need some tips on how to take good ones.

Should I take multiple shots at one go or one shot at a time?

Also, what kind of mode (auto, manual, macro, landscape etc..) should I take? There's a fireworks mode in my E510, should I use it instead?

Need advise. Thanks!
 

egnaro

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Dec 19, 2007
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Boon Lay, Singapore
#2
As I'm going for NDP preview this coming weekend, and am first time using a DSLR cam to take such shots (Olympus E510). Need some tips on how to take good ones.

Should I take multiple shots at one go or one shot at a time?

Also, what kind of mode (auto, manual, macro, landscape etc..) should I take? There's a fireworks mode in my E510, should I use it instead?

Need advise. Thanks!
Do a search on my post on fireworks... if u like it, use fireworks mode on E510
 

vroom1

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Nov 14, 2007
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#3
f8 or f11 exposure around 1-4 secs in bulb mode.

shoot in raw mode and leave the wb to auto.
 

~Arcanic~

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Feb 27, 2005
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Westy
#4
usually fireworks are taken one at a time as the exposure time is generally longer (1-3 or 1-4) seconds, so you can't really go machine gun on fireworks.

but on the occasion that the fireworks come out all together (grand finale or something), a long exposure might result in a overexposed photo, trial and error a bit, but like mentioned above, a bigger F number and slightly longer exposure will work fine.
 

NeTHaCk

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Dec 8, 2004
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#5
usually fireworks are taken one at a time as the exposure time is generally longer (1-3 or 1-4) seconds, so you can't really go machine gun on fireworks.

but on the occasion that the fireworks come out all together (grand finale or something), a long exposure might result in a overexposed photo, trial and error a bit, but like mentioned above, a bigger F number and slightly longer exposure will work fine.

can i ask, how come the fireworks do look smoky ? shot at f10, 2.5s
 

calebk

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Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
#6
can i ask, how come the fireworks do look smoky ? shot at f10, 2.5s
Because there was little or no wind to blow the smoke away, that could be one of the reasons.
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#7
No wind or the wind blowing towards you can make the picture smokey as well.

I find that you will need to take a few before getting a hang of taking them. Picking the vantage point before the event and knowing the area well helps.

You can try experiment with a black card to get a combination of various fireworks in one frame. But care not to flood them until it looks too cluttered.

Having a cable release helps ( other than having a stable tripod ) . Shoot in bulb mode as others have mentioned. I like to expose them when the burst occurs, and use the black card before it starts to trail off ( but i have seen some nice takes of firework trails ). Really depends on what you want to bring out. As for composition you have to decide whether you need to include other elements such as the reflections / boats / buildings / people.

Ryan
 

~Arcanic~

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Feb 27, 2005
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#8
can i ask, how come the fireworks do look smoky ? shot at f10, 2.5s
fireworks are smoky by default.. a lot depends on the actual day situation if the wind is on your side...

if there's a strong wind blowing away from you, that would be the best case.. i once took fireworks with friends before and had the smoke blowing towards us... lol
 

#9
Just a word of caution when taking fireworks: Make sure you have your UV filter on your lens. When the smoke comes your way and the dusk lands on your lens, it can be quite nasty. The dusk may damage the coating of lens.
 

chalib

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Oct 4, 2007
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#10
Just a word of caution when taking fireworks: Make sure you have your UV filter on your lens. When the smoke comes your way and the dusk lands on your lens, it can be quite nasty. The dusk may damage the coating of lens.
Before it can damage the lens coating, it will damage ur skin first :bsmilie:
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
#11
Just a word of caution when taking fireworks: Make sure you have your UV filter on your lens. When the smoke comes your way and the dusk lands on your lens, it can be quite nasty. The dusk may damage the coating of lens.
It would have been dusk by the time they fire the fireworks; hardly anyone fires them in the day...I do believe it is dust you are referring to? ;)
 

Apr 16, 2007
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Westside
#12
check out this link, click on the big photo for more info :)

http://www.popphoto.com/popularphotographyfeatures/4303/how-to-photograph-fireworks.html

what you need is to shoot on manual (bulb mode), and bring a tripod and cable release.

shoot with the lens set to infinity, aperture of around f11.

remember to get a black card (or if you forgot to just use your black lens cap).

the black card helps you get rid of the smoke trails, and helps you get more fireworks into the photo if you shoot with exposure of about 15 seconds for example.

what to do is that when your camera is shooting on long exposure, when a firework is coming up, you start the exposure, but with the black card in front of the lens. when the firework is at its peak (ie opened fully) then you remove the black card for about one second then cover it again, until the next firework opens fully then uncover and cover it again. so on and so forth.

take note not to get too many fireworks into one shot, can appear too cluttered :)

have fun, there'll be lots of fireworks so you can have lots of practice on the day itself!

(sorry for the extra long post :p)
 

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