07/04/09 fireworks...

Lankyman

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Here are a few photos from this past weekend. The full sized photos look better but these smaller ones load quicker.





















 

Kit Fox

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Nice. The bright explosions sure mess up the exposure for the dimmer ones.
 

BelchFire

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Wow; that's very impressive. I love the reflections on the water. Ver' nice!
 

Kit Fox

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Here are three that I took.










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Lankyman

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With my photos, I was using a Nikon D80 camera with a 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 G lens. I was shooting RAW (NEF) & JPEG format. I had the setting turned to Manual. I had the lens set to Manual focus. I was using a 16" cable release - that allows the shutter to stay open as long as the cable release button is pressed down. The shutter was set to 'bulb' - as explaining in the previous sentence. I had the aperture set at F11. I had the white balance set to Auto. On the above photos, I had the shutter open for different lengths of time - between 2.4 to 5.8 seconds to capture the fireworks exploding. I had the ISO set either on 100 or 200 for the above photos. The lower the ISO setting, the better colors & details you will get from the fireworks without having a lot of distortion / noise messing up the photos. I shot the above photos at any where from 26mm to 55mm focal length (zoom).

I was about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from the fireworks sitting on a sea retaining wall. If you have a wide angled lens, the closer you can get to the fireworks, the better details / colors you will probably get. Since these fireworks were shot over water, I tried to incorporate some of the boats & water into the photos to help the composition of the photographs. Most of the above photos have been cropped down some. Most of the full sized uncropped photos show a larger section of the bridge & more boats in the foreground. One more thing to think about is the wind direction. I got lucky in most of the photos that there was a strong enough wind to move the smoke out of the frame at a fairly quick pace. You need to try to either be up wind or at least have a cross wind when you are shooting fireworks, or after the first couple of shots, the results you get may only be of the smoke building up with each explosion.

You can use a tripod & a cable release to take photos of waterfalls to make the water seem to flow through the photo or even take photos of night time traffic patterns where the taillights / headlights will streak across the photo.

Just to show you don't have to have the most expensive camera equipment, I was using a $12.97 Targus 42" 8-section travel tripod to support my camera. Besides the tripod, the cable release is probably the most important items to capturing fireworks. The one I bought was about $35 at Wolf Camera. I have a better tripod, but didn't have it with me. If you don't have a cable release, you could set your camera on a tripod (or something very sturdy so it won't move) & then set it for a timed shutter of 2 - 4 seconds. Then when you press the button to take the photo, the camera will wait a few seconds before taking the picture, which allows you time to move your hand off of the camera so it is still during the photo. This can also be done with some smaller non-DSLR cameras, depending on what settings the camera may have? Another thing is that is nice about digital cameras is that you can take a lot of photos without having to pay to have all of the photos developed / printed at a store. I took over 180+ photos during the roughly 30 minute firework show. So if you have an opportunity, get out there & take as many photos as you can, you might be surprised at how well some of the photos will turn out.
I wish that I had thought to change the White Balance around to see how that would have changed some of the photos. Maybe I'll remember to try that next year? Probably the one thing that I messed up was I didn't turn ON the 'Long Exposure Noise Reduction' feature - I am sure that would have helped each one of the photos.

Thanks for the comments & taking time to look at the photos!
 

Kit Fox

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I wish that I had thought to change the White Balance around to see how that would have changed some of the photos. Maybe I'll remember to try that next year? Probably the one thing that I messed up was I didn't turn ON the 'Long Exposure Noise Reduction' feature - I am sure that would have helped each one of the photos.

Thanks for the comments & taking time to look at the photos!
Depending on which program you use, the white balance is easily changed during the Raw image processing. It is one of those adjustments that can be changed back and forth without damaging the picture.

I need to get the electronic cable release for our D90. We are currently using the Nikon remote, and the range is extremely limited.

Great tutorial.
 

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