Tips for shooting fireworks

—Tripod

Tripod is a must!!! Without it, you are not going to get any decent shots.

A tripod will allow you to setup your camera and ensure that your camera does not move when the camera is taking an exposure.

Always make sure your tripod is properly extended and fastened. It should be sturdy and not easily moveable. Weigh it down with your camera bag or backpack, generally most have a “hook” under the centre column of the tripod.

Tripod Suggestions:

—Exposure

To capture the explosion of fireworks and the light streaks that it creates you want to setup your camera is Time Value (Tv on Canon & S on Nikon) and aim for Exposures that are 5 to 10 seconds.

However best approach is to start in Manual Mode (M on both Canon and Nikon) and start with basic Setting Combo below.

  • ISO 200, Shutter 10 seconds and Aperture F11
  • ISO 200, Shutter 5 seconds and Aperutre F5.6
  • ISO 400, Shutter 5 seconds and Aperture F8

Now to fine tune your exposure further remember these things:

  • Image is too dark but you like the light streaks – Then change the Aperture to a lower F value. eg. F11 to F8.
  • Image is fine but too many light streaks (getting messy) – Then reduce the Shutter setting. eg. 10 second to 6 seconds but then you also need to balance this by changing Aperture from F11 to F9. What we have done is reduced the shutter speed by 2-stops therefore, we need to ensure to capture the same amount of light we open the aperture by 2-stops.
  • Image is dark but you don’t want to fiddle with Aperture and Shutter – Don’t worry if the above is still confusing and you don’t quite understand, then just increase the ISO setting until you get a result you are happy with. However, increasing ISO will increase amount of NOISE that is present in the Image. Most of the newer camera are pretty good up to ISO 800 or 1000. And you can always reduce noise in the computer.

In addition to the exposure settings, make sure you turn off “Long Exposure Noise Reduction” (refer to the camera manual or google this for your camera make/model). Otherwise, you will be waiting the same amount of time after the exposure is taken while your camera works out and reduces the noise.

—Remote Trigger

This is an essential accessory that you need for your camera. You can get wired or wireless version of the remote trigger which will allow you to trigger the shutter without touching the camera itself.

You can also use the self-timer function of the camera to take the shot but this means that you will have 2-second delay or worse 10-second delay in the final image. It will mean that you will have to pre-empt the fireworks and hope you get the shot you want. However, with the remote trigger, you will be able to fire the shutter when you want, without touching the camera so there will be no delay.

Conclusion

Hopefully, with these tips you will be able to capture beautiful fireworks shots. Don’t worry if the first few shots are not spot on, it does take a little bit of tweaking to get the settings right. But once you do, it’s smooth sailing from there on.

Don’t forget to take spare batteries and of course if you liked this post please share with your friends and don’t forget to rate below.