Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:35 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Fireworks problem
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:43 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Wales UK
Hello

I recently had a crack at taking some pictures of fireworks at a local display, I had the camera set at shutter priority, 1/200 ISO 200 manual focus...55-200mm VR lens on a tripod

I had to use manual because the camera (Nikon D40x) wont allow auto focus shots in that sort of light.

This posed a couple of problems, one..trying to focus on something that wasnt actually there yet..in the dark!!!...and when rockets etc went up they went from different spots and reached different heights.

I got a few decent 'smudges' (brit term sorry!!)..but not as good as id hoped

Any tips gratefully received


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:25 am 
Hi Peckham Puncer,

put your camera on a tripod and use the timer-release (assuming you don't have a cable or other remote release).

Choose shutter-priority and set your exposure to 10-20 secs..you can even go 30 if it's nice and really dark.

Change your lens to manual focus and focus at infinity.

Make sure you disengage the VR.

Try and get way from other light-sources close to you so they don't wreck the image and dial your ISO all the way down to 100.

The trick with fireworks is to try and not "hunt" it, but to let it come to you, so to speak.

Good luck with the shooting :-)


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:43 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Wales UK
Thanks lahlah...I'll give those tips a try..


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:45 pm 
I recently shoot fireworks on new year's day and I was pretty satisfied with results I got. I must admit this was my first attempt of fireworks shot and I had given lot about it before clicking. I simply studied EXIF data of thousands of fireworks pictures on internet and tried to create a rationale for perfect firwork shot. My observation was that choosing very narrow aperture will help to keep shot as clean as possible. This is because, when firework bursts in the air, produces significant amount of light and can easily help in overexposing shot. So if you click with very narrow aperture (i used f/16) you will allow very less light entering into the lens. Although it no hard and fast rule that you must use narrow aperture only. About shutter speed, if you are going to use timed shutter, then you will have to be very lucky to catch perfect one firework shot. As in timed shot, you have chances of mixing more than fireworks in same shot which may not look good always. I used BULB (as many does) mode and it worked perfectly for fireworks shot. Its like almost designed for this shot. In this mode, you use remote control to release shutter and press remote again to close shutter. So the trick is, you press remote button when you see firework starts going up in air, and then press remote button again as soon as firework explodes completely. If you leave shutter open for longer, you may catch another interefering firework or even smoke from firework that just finished exploding. So you need to be very quick to close shutter. About focus, it is quite understandable that before show starts, you have no idea at what height exactly the firework is going to explode. There are 2 options. 1 - Manual focus is must and focus to infinity. You can do this by trying focus longest object you can see at ground level. For example a bldg which is at far distance. Option 2 - (I prefer this) Set your camera with tripod, aperture, desired view frame and just wait for 1st firework to explode. Once it starts, they come back to back pretty quickly and you can quickly set manual focus on initial few fireworks and then use that focus. I used this technique and it worked perfectly for me. Another important thing is wind causing shake to your tripod and cam. If its going to be windy when you will take photos, make sure attach a rope at the center of tripod and attach some tesion of around 6-8 pounds. This gives stability to tripod and resistance against wind. Once you are off taking shots, quickly check few shots initially and then dont go back to screen preview until show ends. If you have done above exercise good enough, you will have decent results.

These are some of the shots I took on 1st Jan at Baltimore Harbor.

Image
Image
Image

Complete set seen here -
http://flickr.com/photos/abhijittembhek ... 120653482/


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:01 am 
You can find examples from my recent experiences here.

A few pointers: a very sturdy tripod is needed - a normal consumer tripod doesn't quite cut the mustard when you've got a crowd to contend with.

Further to the advice ABHIJIT has given, you can also use a very long exposure time (30s) and using a black piece of card, be able to optically capture multiple fireworks in one exposure by covering the end of your lens between sequences. This will give an overlay of fireworks.

No one's mentioned the wind; try not to stand with the wind towards you. All that does is blow the smoke to your camera.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:06 am 
ABHIJIT has given some great advice

Here are a couple of shots I took (my first time as well) at a beach in Sydney for NYE 2008 with my 400D and a borrowed 10-22mm wide angle. Most if not all my shots were at 10mm to capture the full sky. This was based on my Manfrotto tripod with a standard 3 way head. I dug the legs into the sand and kept it as low as possible to counter the wind which was gusty.


ISO - 100
Manual Mode
f11
BULB - average of around 6 seconds exposure
Evaluative Metering

Image

Image

Image


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:09 pm 
Nice shots Daniel. You got very pretty shots mixing fireworks together. Since mine was first time, I was pretty intended to capture single firework only at a time. Didn't wanted to complicate first time. But you did great job. Also angle was tight for me to include multiple fireworks in 1 shot. Wideangle lens will be huge boost. Next time I have few things in mind -
1. Including multiple fireworks.
2. Trying to click at very narrow aperture F4 or F/2.8 may be
3. Include landscape along with firework. Getting moon will be like landing on moon itslef.. lol :lol:
4. Include all people watching fireworks upwards


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:44 am 
ABHIJIT wrote:
Next time I have few things in mind -
1. Including multiple fireworks.
2. Trying to click at very narrow aperture F4 or F/2.8 may be
3. Include landscape along with firework. Getting moon will be like landing on moon itslef.. lol :lol:
4. Include all people watching fireworks upwards


1-try the black card technique I've mentioned
2-take care with your understanding of apertures; you don't want the iris to be wide open to reduce flare & to increase sharpness. Avoid both the values you've mentioned
3-see my linked example thread; context is important
4-perhaps; wider angled applications work better than inclusion of people in a telephoto.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group