Fireworks, The Easy Way
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Saturday 29 June 2013
By Ron Caimano
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Fireworks, Ron Caimano, 4th of JulyFireworks, Ron Caimano, 4th of July

Fireworks can be fun to photograph. Here is a technique I learned from my good friend Reg Garner. It's fun and with a little bit of practice will result in some fantastic images. Here goes:

1. Equipment

     Camera, that always helps :-))

     Tripod, A must because if you don't have one you will run out of hands.

     Cable Release; If you don't have one it's not the end of the world but.. almost :-))

     Flash Light; Fireworks are usually in the dark. A small one will help

     Black Card; Paper will no work so get a piece of cardboard or construction paper about 12x12. This will be your shutter.


2. Technique:

      Camera on Bulb. That is usually the "B" setting. This allows the shutter to remain open until you close it.                  

      Lens choice, Any one will work. I would suggest starting out with the widest you have and move up from there.       

 3. Composition: 

                         Camera on manual

                         ISO 100 or lower if possible

                         Aperture either F8 or F11, your choice. I like F11.

                         Exposure; As long as you wish. Usually about 1/4 sec to a minute.

                         Focus: Manual at infinity to start. 

4. OK here goes:

You're all set up, camera ready, all the settings just right waiting for the first blast of fireworks. Here's the deal.

   Place the black cardboard over the lens so no light gets in.

   Press the cable release or shutter button to open the shutter.

   The pressure it is, that first burst.

   With the shutter open remove the paper when you think the time is right. If you want more than one burst in the same frame just place the cardboard back over the lens and keep the shutter open. When that second burst comes along, remove the cardboard again. Usually 2 or 3 bursts will do. Release the shutter and remove the cardboard.

Your creation should be there and you will be the star of the show when you share these images.

Feel free to play around with lenses and such.

Have Fun!





Leave a comment:
Louis Robbins - Great work Ron. I love the outcome. Definately above my skill set. Happy Fourth of July!
Bob Miles - thank you so much for this information. I've been wanting to try this for so many years. I'll give this a try on the 4th of July.