[quote text_size=”small”]Do you ever wonder how to shoot fireworks?[/quote]

Diwali holidays are over, but you can still hear the crackers on the streets and rockets soaring in the sky every night. I always wanted to shoot sharp, bright and colourful images of fireworks, so this Diwali I did just that. Here’s my experience and the Do’s and Don’ts when shooting fireworks:

  1. Always use a Tripod or make sure the camera does not move when you are taking the shot. Handheld shots will mostly always be blurry.
  2. Location – find a good location, either high up or with beautiful cityscape backgrounds
  3. Frame your shot. Look for a frame where most of the fireworks would be. In my city, that means anywhere and everywhere ;)
  4. Camera settings – this is very important. Usually when a fire cracker (rocket) bursts, it takes a few seconds to light up the sky and then about a second to fade away. So you need a camera with some MANUAL controls to capture the burst over a few seconds. Most cameras today have manual settings available (just read your camera’s manual). You would need to control the Shutter speed, Aperture and ISO. Set your camera to MANUAL. More about the settings below.
  5. Shutter speed – As I mentioned you need to shoot with the camera shutter open for a few seconds to capture the burst. Set your camera shutter anywhere between 5-30 seconds. Experiment and shoot, for brighter and darker images.
  6. Aperture – To get a sharp image, you need to have the aperture set anywhere between f8-f16.
  7. ISO – I prefer this to be set to the lowest value the camera can set it. Usually 100 ISO (ASA). The lower the ISO, the less noise (tiny dots or grain) you will see on the final image.
  8. Manual FOCUS – Focus can be tricky especially in the dark. I usually Pre-focus to a point far away, assuming that as the position of the fireworks. Then change the camera setting from Auto focus to Manual focus. Your aperture f8-f16 will help keep the image sharp even if the firework is in front or behind your prefocused point.
  9. Turn OFF your flash
  10. Time of shoot is important as well. Get there early, prepare yourself. Shoot during twilight, fading into the night.
  11. Smog – Another reason the get there early, is to avoid smog. In my city the fireworks go on all night, and even with a clear sky at 7:30 pm, it won’t take long for the entire sky to turn smoggy. You can still shoot into the smoggy sky, but your images will have a haze that you will hate when you playback the beautiful fireworks on your computer screen.
  12. Cable release – If your camera has the option to connect a cable release, it will help avoid camera shake when you press the shutter button, which results a sharper image.
  13. Lastly have fun and enjoy the festive season.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”I hope not anymore…”]

Do you ever wonder how to shoot fireworks?