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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:29 pm 
Ok, so i have read a few notes on how best to shoot fireworks with my new a200.

Am i right in thinking that i should set it to M mode, set the aperture to 'bulb' and then the shutter to very low? e.g. 20?

Please help me out!

Thanks,

Woza.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:42 pm 
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In bulb mode, you can't set a shutter time as you control that with the shutter button. You may want to experiment with the exposure time at the time, but try as long as a few seconds, but do experiment with the length as that will define how long the trails will be. With long exposures, a tripod is a must, and a cable release will help prevent vibration when taking each shot.

And one last one, it will help to focus beforehand, as you don't want to waste time with the camera AF seeking as the scene changes.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:57 pm 
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Scott Kelby recommends starting with f/11 and 4 seconds. Do a few test shoots, and adjust the time to suit the situation or your desire.

"Bulb" is for shutter speed, it will keep the shutter open as long as you are pressing the camera (better of using a remote commender).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:02 pm 
ok so im going to sound like a complete novice here but when looking through the viewfinder i see bulb and then a number which i can change by holding the av button and moving the scroller next to the shutter button.

when people refer to seconds what bit am i to change?

next on the screen is the aperture?? the -2 to +2 display and then there is another number

can someone please help me get the exact setting and how i get there.

sorry for being rather lame!

edit: this picture might help me explain myself: Image

where it says 125 - this is the shutter speed? i have this set to 'bulb'
where it says 5.6 (is this the seconds of is this the f11etc?)
where it has -2 to +2 this is the aperture?
then it has a 2 at the end, not sure at all what this is!!

thanks all, really appreciate it!

Woza.

Woza.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:33 pm 
I believe the 2 is the number of shots available to to written into the camera's buffer. It usually shows up when you've taken a series of shots and the camera is processing them.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:57 am 
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woza wrote:
edit: this picture might help me explain myself: Image

where it says 125 - this is the shutter speed? i have this set to 'bulb'

Yes, the "125" indicates 1/125 sec.

woza wrote:
where it says 5.6 (is this the seconds of is this the f11etc?)
It indicates the aperture. In above case, it means f/5.6.

woza wrote:
where it has -2 to +2 this is the aperture?
That is the EV scale, i.e. the exposure, as how camera measures.

woza wrote:
then it has a 2 at the end, not sure at all what this is!!
As Sublimity mentioned, it's the shots-reminding counter. You only need to worry about that when using continues shoot mode.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:41 am 
thanks for your patience anthony!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:41 am 
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I found that it was relatively straight forward to shoot fireworks using the Shutter Priority Mode.

This is one shot I've achieved with it:
Image

The Exif on this was:
2 Sec exposure
f/25
focal 28mm

Make sure you have a tripod handy because you wont be able to hold the camera steady for 2 seconds. It's longer than you think it is!

I found 2 seconds to be about the right length of time to have the shutter open to take that burst of light


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:25 am 
Hi woza and all,

Just some suggestions from my past experience:
-First, go to the venue earlier and find a good spot
-Do some test shot before the fireworks begin
-REMEMBER to switch SSS (Super Steady Shot) off when you mount your camera on the tripod.
-if you have remote shutter even better (I used self timer set to 2 seconds)

This is my first firework shot (recently) with my Sony a200 + SAL1870DT f/3.5-5.6 + Tripod. Bad example :P , I forgot to switch SSS off and I also think that the aperture value is too small (f number). It might be better if I shot @ 8 seconds (or more), f/16 (or more), ISO 100. However, in my example here, I'm lucky to have the building to be my "focusing indicator".
Image
Manual mode, Spot metering @50mm, 4 seconds, f/8, ISO 200


Image
Manual mode, Spot metering @50mm, 8 seconds, f/16, ISO 100


Hope this help.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:06 pm 
well last night was my first attempt at shooting fireworks.

i only had my 18-70 lens and no tripod but im really pleased with some of the results.

C&C welcome but be nice!!

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/woza/collection?album_id=185283401


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:43 pm 
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Some of those look nice but in my mind it really needed the use of a tripod. Reason that I say that, is because I noticed on a couple of pictures the flair of the line is fuzzy and jaggy as opposed to smooth and subtle. I've taken pictures like that before and know the only reason is because I cant hold my hand steady for the time it takes the camera to expose the picture.

Could I ask what settings you used at the time?

Also, it may have been nicer to look at them without a "copyright" text going across the focus of the image. Maybe a small watermark may be nice to use?

Thanks for sharing, and I hope I've tried to be constructive?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:33 am 
Most importantly - put in manual focus mode. The fireworks at the community events are always going to be at the hyperfocal distance, just set to infinite focus and it will be sharp. Hand shake wont make it blurred, it will make the trails change.

A tripod is not neccesary if shooting solely the fireworks, when I shoot them, I vary it a lot, sometimes I will zoom in or out throughout the ~ 3 seconds of exposure, or sometimes I'll wiggle it. Sometimes I use 1/4 second, sometimes 5 seconds. In MF mode, all the fireworks lines will be sharp, no matter how much you wiggle or zoom or shake. It produces some very abstract lines in very extreme shapes.

The priority modes don't work very well unless you shoot right after the burst of the fireworks, but if using priority must be shutter. Ap priority will goof it all up with shutter speeds.

The ones with white background are inverted pictures. Ive gotten several hundred of these and they are all so unique that I like them all. July 4th community fireworks has become one of my favorite shooting events.


Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:53 pm 
Nice idea Anbesol, I didn't know I can do something like this (abstract). Thanks for sharing! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:06 pm 
hi all, thanks for your responses.

i used s mode and set the shutter speed to 2 seconds.

i had it on auto focus, so maybe next time will use manual, i also played with the super steady shot but cant remember which ones had it on and which ones had it off.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:11 pm 
popo wrote:
With long exposures, a tripod is a must, and a cable release will help prevent vibration when taking each shot.


perhaps using a delay might do the job ;)


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