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How to Photograph Fireworks

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Photographing a fireworks display with a digital camera can be tricky. The fireworks themselves are quite bright, but the environment is very dark. These and other conditions require specific settings on your camera to acquire the best possible shots. Use the following tips to make the most out of that 4th of July display.

First, you’ll want to arrive early to get the best location for shooting. If possible, get some information from the pyrotechnic crew about where the fireworks will be launched, so that you can position yourself accordingly. You will want to think about the composition of your shots, and what you would like in the foreground and background, so look for any trees, buildings, or other things that could obstruct your view. You probably won’t want to be in the middle of a crowd because you’ll end up photographing the back of people’s heads, and viewers could bump into your tripod.

Using a tripod while photographing a fireworks display is very important. The tripod ensures that your camera stays still while shooting and this is especially important when shooting fireworks because the low light requires a longer shutter speed. Using a remote release will also help keep your camera steady by eliminating the need to physically touch the shutter release.

Choosing whether to shoot vertically or horizontally depends on the look you’re going for and the view from where you are. If you are a distance from the fireworks and want a landscape view, horizontal is the way to go. If you are close to the firework display, shooting vertically may work better, especially because of the vertical motion of the fireworks.

You will likely want a wide focal length while shooting fireworks. This will allow for a wider view of the scene that will include the entire display. Shooting with a shorter focal length will make it more difficult to capture the fireworks, as the images will be more cropped and close up. Also, you will want a relatively small aperture setting – probably between f/8 and f/16 – due to the brightness of the fireworks.

Shutter speed is something you will want to manually control for shooting fireworks. Your remote release will allow you to open the shutter just before the firework explodes, and then keep it open until the firework has ended, capturing the entire movement. Don’t keep the shutter open too long, though. The brightness of fireworks makes them easily overexposed. Be sure your flash is turned off while shooting, too.

When it comes time to print your photos, it may be best to take your digital files to a business that offers professional printing services. Their printers and printer ink are of a very high quality, and will result in the best possible prints for your money.

  This article was written by 999inks, your one stop shop for Printer inks and Laser Toner Cartridges.