Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Different Take on Photographing Fireworks

Are you going out New Year's Eve?  If there will be fireworks you might want to take your camera, tripod, and cable release and try your hand at taking fireworks photos.  There's lots of information on the web on how to take pictures of fireworks so I won't try to tell you what others have already done.  

Here's a technique you may not find on the web.  I saw this earlier this year and tried it out back on Independence Day. Try zooming in or out while taking fireworks shots.  It effect can be very interesting or at least different from the millions of other fireworks photos out there. 

Here's some basic guidelines

  1. Use a tripod.   You'll want it to be fairly stable.  Figure out where the fireworks are exploding, aim your camera at that general areas.
  2. Use a zoom lens wide enough to capture the largest display but able to zoom in to fill the frame with the fireworks.
  3. Set your exposure to around 2 seconds. ISO 400, and about f/11.  
  4. Place one hand on the shutter release and the other on the lens zoom ring.
  5. When the explosion goes off click the shutter and slowly zoom using a smooth and steady motion.  Try to move the camera as little as possible.   
  6. Experiment with zooming in and zooming out.  Try zooming through the entire 2 seconds or just and the end or beginning of the exposure.   Change your setup to get a longer exposure.  Then change to a shorter one.  Experiment and have fun.  There are no hard and fast rules for this.

Try this out and let me know how it comes out.  Have fun.  It's New Year's Eve after all.

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