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Photography Question 
Susan Eginton
 

Fireworks


Hi - I just tried to take fireworks photos last night using some of the tips I got from the article on this site's newsletter. I used a tripod and since I had 200 film I set the f/stop at 11 - not sure though, if that was correct. I tried setting the camera on AV first, to make it simple. What I noticed was that at slow shutter speeds, by the time the camera closed the shutter, it was dark. I also tried setting the camera on Bulb. I don't understand just at what point I should press the button to begin taking the photo. Should I do it at the very beginning when I see the firework travelling upward or wait for the firwork to burst? I don't have my photos yet, but hope I did not just get black sky after the firework faded!


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7/3/2005 10:14:56 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Try to time it when the guys (persons) on the ground light the fuse.
Part of the allure of a great fireworks photo is to capture the launch trail and it heads skyward.
I usually close the shutter after the burst has done its thing then advance to the next frame.

Don't worry about leaving the shutter open too long against a black sky. The blackness won't "erase" the light which was already recorded.


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7/3/2005 10:39:25 AM

 
Howie Nordström
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/11/2005
  From Jim Zuckerman's Fundementals course:

  • A tripod is required unless you want the fireworks to be completely jiggley.

  • 200 ISO

  • f/11

  • Leave the shutter open until you get enough bursts. This could be one, two, five .... seconds.


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7/3/2005 11:40:34 AM

 
Swapnali Mathkar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/3/2004
  One small point,
Dont keep shutter open for more time unecessarily. Manytimes The sky is not remained black due to smoke , so that brightness will give bad results.
Its difficult to see a person fusing ,so when u see a trail in the sky u can open the shutter and close it immidiately after the burst dies off, or just before it dies.
also dont use high ISO, u will lose the colours of fireworks and all ur fireworks will be white or yellow.


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7/4/2005 12:49:14 AM

 
Susan Eginton   Thanks for all your responses. Bob, I especially thank you for telling me the blackness of the sky won't erase the light already recorded. That was what I was worried about.

Howie, I was the one in our class who asked Jim Z about fireworks and had the advice he gave in mind when I shot my photos. It was just that when I actually tried it out, I wasn't sure about when to open and close the shutter. By the way, that class was great and everyone's participation helped me learn. It's nice to keep learning through this forum too. Thanks for responding.


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7/4/2005 8:43:06 AM

 
Howie Nordström
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/11/2005
  Susan, sorry for not knowing that it was you who asked the question. I had the information stored away, but only the info. <:O

The class was great! I've signed up for his 8 steps class. Agreed, it's great to try and help each other too.


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7/4/2005 9:02:55 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey folks,
i shot 4 rolls of fireworks last nite,i used 400 speed film,kodak 400uc and fuji superia 400.my 200 was in the bag I forgot to take,checklist?about 70% came out good and maybe 20% were great.
i used shutter priority and set it from 2 to 6 seconds.the camera set the aperature from 8 to 11,jumped around a lot.yes,tripod,remote release.
as far as the smoke goes,in some of them it actually adds to the picture,trails and globs.
when I saw the fire trail start I hit the release.i can't tell which ones were 2 secs up to 6 secs.i used two cameras and two different lenses,35-80 and 70-210,set at 35 and 70,and can't tell which ones are which.i was so busy changing rolls of film,looking for the trails,trying to answer questions,keeping curious people from running into my stuff,i didn't keep track of almost nothing.
as soon as I learn to use my new scanner and photoshop,by the way i'm typing with two fingerswhich shows how far behind I am,i'll try to share some.
just thought i'd share what I did,might have been wrong,but I got some great pictures.
bang sam


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7/4/2005 1:00:12 PM

 
Maverick Creatives
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/1/2004
 
 
 
Hi Susan. I also experimented with my fairly new camera capturing fireworks. Although I shoot digital I believe the theory would be the same.
I shot at ISO100 using my shutter release cable to avoid any camera shake. The night was so windy the fireworks were almost cancelled and that explains the whispyness in the image. If you look closly you can also see the reflections of some of the bursts against the smoke. I learned a lot friday evening (Canada Day). Next time I'll be more confident and will make sure to include some building, people, trees, anything to give the photo more "zing".
ISO100,,,f5.6,,,bulb at three-four seconds,,,,,70-200mm lens

Regards
Gary


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7/4/2005 1:56:15 PM

 
Maverick Creatives
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/1/2004
 
 
  fireworks in the wind
fireworks in the wind
© Maverick Creatives
Canon EOS 20D Digi...
 
 
Hi Susan. I also experimented with my fairly new camera capturing fireworks. Although I shoot digital I believe the theory would be the same.
I shot at ISO100 using my shutter release cable to avoid any camera shake. The night was so windy the fireworks were almost cancelled and that explains the whispyness in the image. If you look closly you can also see the reflections of some of the bursts against the smoke. I learned a lot friday evening (Canada Day). Next time I'll be more confident and will make sure to include some building, people, trees, anything to give the photo more "zing".
ISO100,,,f5.6,,,bulb at three-four seconds,,,,,70-200mm lens

Regards
Gary


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7/4/2005 1:57:01 PM

 
Susan Eginton   Interesting shot, Gary! That whispyness makes it look almost like a pen and ink drawing. Thanks for sharing your work.
Sue


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7/8/2005 9:00:22 PM

 
Peter M. Wilcox
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2005
  I've found that F11 with ISO100 overexposes the shot, F16-F22 keeps the colors from washing out, and the pixels from blooming. Also helps keep the sky black. It might be well worthwhile to use 2 or 3 stops of neutral density filters, and move the aperture back into the middle range (better resolution), or even try F32 or F44. Fireworks are bright!

Definitely don't wait for the burst to open the shutter, there is no persistance to the display (your eye and mind create the trails). If you don't like the launch trail (I don't, particularly) open the shutter after it fades, before the kablooie, or photoshop it out.


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7/9/2005 10:46:02 AM

 
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