- (Photo: Reuters / Jessica Rinaldi)
Fourth of July fireworks can provide for spectacular photographs – if you do it right. Here are a few tips on how to make your holiday memories clearer and more vibrant:
1) Use a Tripod
Usually it’s difficult to keep the camera still while snapping your photos. That’s why it’s important to stabilize your camera to something that won’t move when you’re taking your shots. The shutter has to be open long enough for the camera eye to see the object. With fireworks, the shutter speed will be longer. The longer the shutter speed, the more likely your photo will come out blurred. Using a tripod helps reduce this risk.
Unfortunately, sometimes tripods are cumbersome and it’s not always possible to carry one in large crowds. For this reason, keep in mind that learning proper camera techniques will come in handy. Controlling your breathing, not zooming in too close, and using both hands are good ways to reduce camera shake – though using a tripod when permissible is still the better option.
2) Remote Release or Self Timer
Investing in a remote release device also aids in avoiding blurry photos caused by camera shake. The key is to take yourself out of the photo-taking process as much as possible and the remote release allows you to do that.
Or, if you’re not ready to invest in many camera accessories you could just use the self-timer. The problem with the self-timer is you will have to anticipate your shots, so this could be an issue.
3) Keep a low ISO
The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the camera becomes to details in the dark. However, fireworks are pretty bright so you will want to change the ISO setting to 100 or lower. You will have to put your camera in manual to do this.
4) Turn off your flash
Using your flash will have no effect on your shots. It will, however, trick your camera into thinking you need a shorter exposure time. In actuality, you need a longer exposure time.
5) Shutter Speed
As mentioned before, with fireworks you need a longer exposure time which means a long shutter speed. However, be careful not to overexpose. Experiment with the shutter speed and determine which works best. Most people use the single burst.
It’s common to think that it’s important to have a fast lens to capture the booming fireworks. However, because the fireworks are bright the opposite is true. Mid to small aperture ranges typically work well. Try shooting anywhere between f/8 to f/16
That’s it! These tips will provide you with stunning fireworks photography on your holiday. Be sure to experiment with your camera and see what works best before you head out to enjoy the festivities Monday night.