If you’ve ever tried photographing fireworks before, then you’ll know it’s not alway as easy as it seems; lots of blurry shots, just managing to get part of the firework burst, too close to get the full effect etc. But if you follow a few simple rules then you’ll find your chances of getting a really good shot will greatly improve.
It’s easy to believe that to photograph fireworks you need to use a large aperture (small F/stop number) because you’re shooting at night. But when you get the burst of the fireworks through your veiwfinder you’ll realize just how bright it looks, so, try setting the F/stop on your camera to between f/8 to f/16 .
The shutter speed you use will vary according to your aperture setting and also, how close you are to the firework display, so to start with, try setting your shutter speed to between one to three seconds to capture the full firework burst, but you could experiment with longer exposures to get some interesting effects. As you’ll be using slower shutter speeds, you’ll need to use a tripod.
Keep your ISO level as low as possible, about 100 or 200, this will help you to get clearer pictures with less noise (less grainy images).
The type of lens you use will depend on your viewing distance, if you’re close to the display then try using a wide angle lens to get everything in. Put your camera’s setting to manual and then set your focus to infinity, if you don’t have a manual setting then try using landscape mode, as this is normally set to infinity.
Good examples of Fireworks photography
Now take a look at some more fantastic images of fireworks taken from the ‘creative commons’ on Flicker
Poole fireworks finale by Luke Storry
This image was captured by Eric Lim
Image by Larry johnson
This stunning image was taken by wwarby
Image by wwarby
Image by Jeff Weese
Image by Eric Lim
Image by Mooganic