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Thread: Shooting fire works without tripod

  1. #1
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    Shooting fire works without tripod

    Dear all,

    I need your comment and advise about "shooting fire works, without tripod".

    Could you explain how to get optimal result of Shooting fire works with camera handheld? and how could we do it? I tried to capture the whole light from fireworks to have good image. Unfortunately I only got beginning light or the ending light of the fire works. What mode of our camera we use to get the best image?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting fire works without tripod

    If I wanted to shoot fireworks without using a tripod; I would try to stabilize my camera in some way to facilitate a long exposure. A bean bag (easily made from the partial leg of a pair of jeans) is one way to do this. Bracing the camera on a table or on top of a wall is another way. Opening the shutter for the time of several bursts can work. If you keep the shutter open too long, the sky will become less dark from the multiple bursts and the individual bursts will not look as good.

    BTW, it is sometimes quite creative to show recognizable ground features such as a buildings, hills or trees to "anchor" the fireworks image. Fireworks over water are great because the reflections will more bang for your buck (pun intended).

    The image in this DPS article on photographing fireworks illustrates what i am talking about...
    http://www.digital-photography-schoo...raph-fireworks

    Here is another article about shooting images of fireworks...
    http://content.photojojo.com/guides/...eworks-photos/

  3. #3

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    Re: Shooting fire works without tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabror View Post
    What mode of our camera we use to get the best image?
    Hi, try this:

    Manual or Tv mode
    manual focus to Infinite
    small aperture (f8)
    low iso (100)
    speed depends of what you want:
    if you want to frezee the firework, use the fastest you can
    if you want to play with the motion of the spark, use less, you can try starting from 1/4 to 1 or more seconds

    bye.
    Last edited by xalupa; 2nd June 2011 at 06:12 AM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Shooting fire works without tripod

    Here is a totally different approach which has worked for me.

    Firstly tear up the book; forget about slow exposures. Personally, I don't even like those unnatural feathery looking long exposures anyway.

    The first consideration is how slow a shutter can you take with your lens. Let's say 1/40 for a stabilised lens. Then what is the highest ISO you can manage without too much noise. Probably ISO 800 (400 if you have had any noise problems with your lens previously).

    Use Tv (shutter priority) and let the aperture take care of itself.

    Full manual with the lens nearly wide open has also worked on occasions but it is a bit of a gamble.

    You may need a bit of Exposure Compensation if you are varying shots between bright ground based 'roman candle' type fireworks and the large scattered shell bursts.

    But a lot of any success will depend on exactly where you are situated with regard to the 'action'. Also how accurately you can estimate the position of those overhead bursts and the width of your lens.

    You won't get every firework to produce perfect results so expect a few rejects.

    But you can, with a little sneaky software manipulation, combine a number of shots (on different layers) onto one background to create a stunning overall effect. The knack is to use a suitable Blend mode between different layers.

    I deliberately shoot a few 'background' shots, with the camera rotated through 90 degrees (portrait orientation).

    Whether you can successfully auto focus or prefer to set manually at infinity will depend on your equipment and what happens on the day. Try to shoot a few 'nightscapes' etc, beforehand to check your options.

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