Settings and techniques on shooting fireworks!!!


baynald12

Deregistered
Apr 30, 2010
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#1
Hi guys, I tried shooting fireworks last night but end up the pics were not so presentable...
my settings was Bulb, ISO 200, F32( the lowest possible ).
what's the correct way ( settings ) on shooting fireworks?
do u have to press the shutter once u see the fireworks or have to press b4 it explode?
whats the best lens for fireworks?
thanks....
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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rainy Singapore
#2
Hi guys, I tried shooting fireworks last night but end up the pics were not so presentable...
my settings was Bulb, ISO 200, F32( the lowest possible ).
what's the correct way ( settings ) on shooting fireworks?
do u have to press the shutter once u see the fireworks or have to press b4 it explode?
whats the best lens for fireworks?
thanks....
Before we answer your question(s), perhaps it'd be a good idea to explain why you chose bulb mode and f/32...?
With bulb mode, how long was your exposure? In what way was the photo not presentable?
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,522
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rainy Singapore
#3
"what's the best lens for fireworks?" ??
Oh my...

All I can say is that a macro lens is not necessary :)
what lens to use depends on the composition you have in mind.
 

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Linnl71

New Member
Jul 2, 2009
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East area
#5
F32 is too small already. Your setting is bulb, but how long did you hold your shutter button? Your shutter speed would depend on how long you hold your shutter button/shutter remote control.

I think there is no correct way to shoot fireworks, but using F32 a bit over the top. Usually F8, 11 or even 16(though sometimes not needed) should do the job already.

In terms of shutter speed, your shutter speed should range from 1seconds or more onwards to be able to capture the movement of the fireworks as well. Do remember to off your image stablizer on your DSLR and have it mounted on a tripod to avoid shake.

I think the most appropriate lens would be that with a wide angle (usually your kit lens would suffice) as it will be able to capture a wider angle (duh) and if unsatisfied, you can crop in when PP.

Also, it is best you provide pictures of your shot as well so we can comment on how to improve.

Cheers!
 

baynald12

Deregistered
Apr 30, 2010
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#6
I used 17-35 sigma, with shutter remote and tripod
I used the bulb mode because I don't know when the fireworks will explode and ends.
My exposure depends how long a single firework ends
 

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baynald12

Deregistered
Apr 30, 2010
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#7

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#8
I used 17-35 sigma, with shutter remote and tripod
I used the bulb mode because I don't know when the fireworks will explode and ends.
My exposure depends how long a single firework ends
if you use f32 (small aperture) and bulb mode (assuming very long exposure, eg 45secs), you are letting in VERY little light at one time, but over a long duration you achieve the exposure. Now... the firework itself is only for about 4-5 seconds. Although it is an intense light, how bright do you think it will appear in your photograph?

Furthermore if you have a very long exposure, you might capture many many fireworks exploding. I don't think that will be a nice photo.
 

kutten

New Member
May 12, 2008
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#11
use wide angle zoom lens, use manual exposure mode with ISO 200 F/11 @ 2s as a starting point and adjust accordingly to the right exposure. Also turn on the noise reduction setting for long exposure.
 

Numnumball

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2009
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Central
#12
Hi guys, I tried shooting fireworks last night but end up the pics were not so presentable...
my settings was Bulb, ISO 200, F32( the lowest possible ).
what's the correct way ( settings ) on shooting fireworks?
do u have to press the shutter once u see the fireworks or have to press b4 it explode?
whats the best lens for fireworks?
thanks....
Why so small of an aperture setting? F32 is an overkill

Rule of thumb being u wan to maximise dof without comprosing the loss in sharpness due to diffraction caused by smaller apertures..

I will recommend anything from f8 or up till 2 stops smaller (to f16)

And in Bulb mode you control the exposure time manually

And there's no best lens.. depends on ur position and expectations.
A kit lens might do the job well, or an UWA if you are really close.

Use a black card is to capture multiple sets of fireworks into one image. (can try google for it, its a ver ycomon technique used by fireworks photographers)
 

mytoys

New Member
Feb 12, 2010
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Bedok
#13
As for fireworks shooting, I usually set at f5.6, bulb at 1 to 3 sec, ISO at the lowest setting. As for lense, it depend how far away u are shooting. I usually use prime lense -20mm, 35mm or 50mm. Lense must set at infinity (manual). A must for tripod n remote cable.
Good luck.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#14
Do a search on here for "fireworks". This question pops up at least 20 times every year whenever there's national day or new year's day.
 

May 5, 2009
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16
#15
Also turn on the noise reduction setting for long exposure.
i will turn the LE NR off, turning it on will waste a lot of time, a 8 secs exposure will need another 8 secs for the LE NR. you are basically wasting time to capture the fireworks, which only last for a few minutes. i will rather do the NR in post processing if needed.
 

Anson

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2006
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ansonchew.com
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#17
Basically you can try the following:

  • Mount your camera on a tripod
  • Set your format to Raw
  • Turn off NR
  • Bulb Mode
  • Small aperture (F8 -16),
  • Switch to Manual Focusing
  • Control your shots using a cable release.

Most important is to have fun during the shoot. It's a long wait in the best spot and you only got a few minutes of action. :)
 

mytoys

New Member
Feb 12, 2010
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Bedok
#18
I am not familiar with canon, if your cam do not have bulb u still can use the cam to set at 3 or more sec. That means every frame is fix with the same shutter time n u can't play around.
Some fireworks open shortly n u need abt 2 sec n the bigger one is abt 3 sec.
If u set the shutter time too long, u are allowing the next fireworks to crash with the first one.
The first shot of fireworks, u look thru your viewfinder to make sure it fall within the frame n the next one, u just look at the spot for the next click.
Good luck.
 

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