Wanted to share a gallery of images that I just uploaded to Erik Michael Photography, and talk a little about shooting Fireworks. There are a ton of tutorials already out there by Jared Polin (a.k.a. Fro Knows Photo), Kelby One, and many others – just Google photographing fireworks and you’re bound to find some good info. But here are a few tips of what you need, and how to get good shots.
- Tripod, DSLR, and a Cable Release are a must.
- Settings can vary depending on environment and what you are trying to achieve. The ones I’m sharing I had my camera set to BULB mode, and my settings were at f/9, ISO 100, using a 12-24mm Sigma lens set at 24mm, and manual focus locked in at infinity. The range of exposure times varied from 4 seconds to 12 seconds depending on what I was trying to accomplish with the shot. Sometimes I wanted to capture the quick burst especially on a brighter explosion, other times I wanted to leave the shutter open for trails and multiple fireworks.
- PLAY! Try different exposure times, look at your preview and see if you like the result or if you want to go shorter or longer. Over time you’ll get an idea of what works for different situations.
- Edit your shots, be creative, but don’t overdo it. All my images were processed in Lightroom, and many were then taken into On1 Photo RAW for finishing touches. Editing is all a matter of preference and style, but try to do something a little different with your shots – be unique, and have fun doing it!
Erik Michael Zimmerman