It is really simple to take some professional looking firework pictures. All you need is a basic DSLR camera or a SmartPhone with Manual mode and tripod. Diwali is all about colours and lights so why not to capture that real joy. All you have to take care about is right timing and some basic camera knowledge. So let’s start with the pointers which can help you take some amazing fireworks pictures on this Diwali.
Best Camera Settings For Shooting Fireworks. I am going to tell you those secret settings, but before that lets understand the basic required gears for Firework photography.
– DSLR camera or SmartPhone with Manual mode
– A tripod for your respective camera
– Use a cable release or wireless remote to trigger the shutter if you have one
Some important preparations before we start shooting
– Turn on Long Exposure Noise Reduction in your camera menu, this will help you with better quality images
– Shoot the highest quality file you can. Shooting RAW is ideal if your camera is allowing
– Put your focusing on Manual focus, otherwise it might have difficulty locking onto focus. Manually focus your lens at infinity
Now, as you are ready with the gears. It is time to get ready for the shots. My suggestion is to reach to the location during the late evening time when you have good enough light so you can frame the backdrop nicely.
– Set camera on tripod
Put your DSLR or Mobile up ontripod. Make sure you frame first and then tighten up all the gears of the tripod for best stability. Your tripod is the only thing keeping your camera steady, so make sure to use a good quality tripod for your shots.
Once your frame is ready, put your camera on Manual focus. On Dslr you can do this by switching AF switch to MF. Now your lens is set to do focusing manually.
So where to focus exactly? As you do not know where the firework is actually gonna show up once it is lit. Well to solve this problem we will focus on infinity. Lot of lenses comes with the indicator which shows the infinity symbol. So rotate your lens focusing ring and get the infinity mark as per shown in the figure. Once you put your lens on infinity, you are set with the focusing.
– Attach your cable release
Your cable release or wireless remote will help you release the shutter, without touching the camera during shooting process. This is really important specially for shooting fireworks. A cable release or wireless remote has a shutter release button on it so you do not have to touch your camera. It will help you to eliminate the camera shake. You can find so many different ways to shoot the fireworks, my preference is to shoot on BULB mode. Cable release comes in handy when you are shooting specially on the BULB mode.
If you do not own a cable release or wireless remote, you can simply put your camera on timer mode and eliminate the extra shake. But for using BULB mode technique, you sure need to have the cable release or wireless remote.
– Camera Settings
Before I start on this topic, let me tell you something. The exposure in your image will be affected by three main settings.Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO. So changing one will definitely affect your entire exposure. If you are new to photography, and do not know much about the exposure triangle. I would suggest you wait for our upcoming blog where we will be clearing everything in depth. Meanwhile let’s find out how you can at-least start shooting with some basic settings.
The main setting you need to understand is shutter speed for getting those amazing firework photos. Shutter speed relates to the amount of time the shutter will stay open to allow the light to enter on sensor. Slow shutter speed will give you more light as well as more motion blur. Changing the shutter speed will change the way your firework looks. Above are two examples to understand this better. See the difference of shutter speed on the fireworks, in the two images. In the first, a shutter speed of ten seconds. In the second, it is five seconds. The best choice was probably somewhere in the middle.
For Aperture value , I suggest to keep it somewhere around F11 to F16. It gives you narrow opening and thus controls the light better and also gives you a good deep DOF. Where as for ISO I suggest you to keep it 100 for best outcome.
For White balance you should try using Daylight or Shade, as they works better as per my experience. Or shoot RAW and keep the white balance on AUTO and fine tune it later on during post processing.
Try to be creative
This is very amazing technique and you should really try this, for getting multiple bursts of firework in just one go. The entire process goes like this, set your camera to either BULB mode or a longer exposure. Cover up the camera lens with a black cardboard making sure that it does not allow any light to enter the camera. When you see a good burst of color, remove the black card for a couple of seconds, then reposition it in front of your lens. Remove the card when you see another burst. Repeat this process of removing and replacing the card in front of the lens until you feel you have a good set of bursts on that one frame.
Low light, bright light, and movement are only three of the hurdles you need to cross in order to achieve stunning photos of fireworks. The good news is that we’re looking out for you here at Varun Patel Photography Blog. Take our tips and advice to heart and you’ll be well on your way to successfully photographing fireworks this Diwali.