Society & Culture & Entertainment Photography

Photographing Fireworks: A How To Guide

People normally associate fireworks displays with a time of celebration and positive energy.
The Olympics, New Year's celebrations, 4th of July celebrations and many others feature spectacular displays that light up the night sky.
As a photographer you may want to immortalize this scenic imagery in a photograph for your collection, portfolio or as a gift.
Taking a picture of such a display is not as easy as it seems; an amateur would make do with a simple point and shoot camera.
An intermediate to professional photographer is concerned with many other various aspects such as focus, lighting and which vantage point the photograph should be taken to attain the most gripping image.
Let's take a look at a few tips and tricks that can help the amateur and intermediate photographer alike to improve their pictures when shooting fireworks.
First, the quality of your final image depends heavily of the type of camera you use.
For shots such as these, I have always had marked success using a DSLR.
Having a digital camera lets you quickly view the final photograph.
Using a tripod will ensure an even better quality image.
The tripod will help to avoid blurred images by ensuring the camera doesn't move.
It is particularly useful when using a lower end lens that doesn't have stabilization technology.
Not many people fancy the idea of sticking their head behind a camera during a beautiful fireworks display (me included), but you don't have too.
The solution to this is a remote release.
If your camera supports one, get a remote release as soon as possible.
This will allow you to be part of the experience and still capture your images! Framing the shot is probably the most significant aspect of any photo shoot.
If you have a fairly good idea of the location where the display will be, try and choose a vantage point before hand to ensure you get the best perspective as possible for the shots you want.
It may only take a quick look around the environment and an idea of just how high the fireworks are expected to reach but get there early to beat the crowds.
Also, you should take into consideration the optical zoom of your camera; this will tell you just how far from the festivities you can actually be to take a good photo.
Remember, being at a distance, you will have no need for camera flash so turn that flash off; unless of course, it shows off an interesting element from the foreground like a kissing couple or an enthusiastic observer.
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