Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shooting Fireworks

Shooting fireworks can be frustrating.  I’ve seen people using flash, in automatic mode, without tripod and just not a single crisp firework shot comes out.  It is not that difficult.

First and most important, you need to capture fireworks with your came on a tripod.  You need a slow shutter speed to be able to photograph the falling light trails, which is the WOW factor.  It is also convenient, for a couple of reasons, to use a cable release.  You need to see the firework’s trajectory to know when to push the shutter button, it is easier to do so with the naked eye than to try and look through the viewfinder.

Second use a zoom lens, I recommend a 200mm so you can get in tight and capture the explosion and the trails.  If you are trying to capture the surrounding as well then use a wider lens.

After that either shoot in Manual Mode or in Bulb Mode.  In Manual Mode you just have to set the shutter speed to 4 seconds (3 if your test shot looks overexposed, 5 if it is underexposed) and set the aperture to f/11.  Now you are ready to start shooting.

In the Bulb Mode you hold the shutter as long as you want.  Push and hold the shutter button when the rocket is fired and then let go and release the button when the light trails start to fade.

The rest is timing – firework away!


  1. Thanks for the tips, Joaquin!
    Can't wait for the next fireworks show to try them out!

  2. Great looking fireworks! And thanks for the tips.