Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Photographing Fireworks: How to get the perfect firework photos

From the Photocritic site we forward this advice

Oh my, it’s nearly That Time Of Year again: burning effigies, sparklers, terrified dogs, and jacket potatoes with charred skins and raw middles. Guy Fawkes’ Night is 5 November, so perhaps it’s a good idea to brush up on the ol’ fireworks skills in preparation for displays this weekend and next, yes? Indeed… READ MORE HERE

  1. Find a location away from the crowd and power lines. An elevated location on a hillside works well. You might want to scout out your perch beforehand: Especially on big fireworks nights (such as July 4th in the US, November 5th in the UK, and new year’s eve in most of the world), a lot of the prime photography spots will be taken hours before the fireworks, so plan ahead!
  2. Set the shutter speed to 1 second or longer. Don’t be afraid of underexposing your photos, though. You won’t.
  3. Use a low ISO – you want as little digital noise as possible.
  4. Use a tripod. If you can’t find a tripod use a nice steady base.
  5. Turn off the flash. This might seem like common sense, but remember you are photographing lights, so you don’t need to add more light yourself.
  6. Shoot in RAW. You need as much exposure latitude as you can get, in order to be able to do any adjustments you need to do in post-production
  7. screen_shot_2011_11_04_at_123826_0_620x4121
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