After posting up so many fireworks photo and I did get some comments asking how to shoot fireworks, here are some tips. Note, I’m not pro huh..just gotta practice (that’s why went 3 times LOL) and I did some homework prior to the fireworks and tested out various settings. So here you go:
- Camera of course, preferably a DSLR, but Point n Shoot also can.
- Tripod, better be a big one and can adjust the height and shooting point.
Yah that’s bout it.
- Use manual if possible.
- Set aperture (F value) within F8 to F16. Yes, this one can be done with a DSLR or PNS camera. You just gotta look around for that setting on how to change aperture.
- ISO – this is for brightness, usually when shooting at night, you will set to 800/1200, but for fireworks, put it lowest 100/200.
- Shutter – you can set this for within 5-10secs, depends on how many fireworks you want to capture. I can’t recall if PNS can do this, sorry no expert.
- BULB – if you have DSLR, set the shutter to this. Remember last time I took some ghost pics, that’s the BULB mode, and this is very useful for fireworks!!
- Focus – set this to manual and pre-focus to an object first. You can’t focus on the fireworks but somehow it will turn up OK in the pics.
OK and one more thing, this only for DSLR camera owners, get a remote control. That’s very important. This is because you don’t want to accidentally shake ur camera and ur fireworks go blur. Also if it’s in BULB mode, you can control your shutter with remote. I bought it and I love it!!
So when all done, mount your camera on the tripod, find the angle u want…and wait.
When the time comes, just snap the pic.
I use remote control for most of my pics. I don’t time it for how many secs, I use BULB setting. I just watch the sky, press the remote (1st time – open shutter) then wait…once I am satisfied with the firework (say after few burst), press the remote (2nd time – close shutter).
Just keep doing this each time at your own interval, you will get nice shots. Of course, make sure you check your shots, make sure not too smoky or overexpose (when too many fireworks at 1 time).
If you think F8 is too low, try F16. I prefer F16, pics looks better, but don’t ask me the theory of that.
FOR PNS Camera
Mount it on tripod, set the timer to probably 2 sec after you press on the button (I know some cameras have, you have to find that function, my Canon A600 has)…you have to do a bit of timing, since you don’t have remote. So when you see the trail of fireworks going up, snap it…then after 2 sec, your camera will take the photo so it should be just nice or maybe slightly off for the first round to see the firework burst in the sky.
Check your photo and adjust your timing to get better shots :).
Why you need 2 sec of waiting is each time when you press the button, you will tend to vibrate the camera, if you don’t leave it for 2 sec (min), you will get shaky pics. Even DSLR also happens because when you press the button, the shutter opens up…the mirror in the camera vibrates. Hence wait for 2 sec is good so that the vibration stops and you can get a clear pic.
Which is why I chose to use a remote, cause remote no hand shake mah :).
If you poses a DSLR and want to be more adventurous, you can try a black card technique. I learned this from forum and played with it. It’s also the same kind of setting, but instead of keep on snapping so many pics, some people like to have alot of fireworks burst at 1 go. So the best is use black card.
It’s just a cardboard (DIY) of black colour, size bigger than your camera lense.
What you do is, when you want that firework, remove the card which you place in front of the lense. When you don’t want it, just slot the card in front of the lense. It actually acts like a manual shutter close/open function.
With that, you get less smoke actually, and nicer sharper fireworks :).
Only for DSLR huh, PNS Camera can’t do that.
When is next round?
There’s 2 more countries showcasing fireworks before the MIFC competition ends. The fireworks start 10pm, but be there by 830 cause the jam is horrendous
- 30th Aug – Japan – updated, for this one starts 12am
- 2nd Sept – Canada & Global Team
So pack your gears and head to Putrajaya…if you don’t mind the jam :). I’m going on 2nd Sept, trying out a new location. Lets hope I can get home faster this round LOL.