How to photograph fireworks:
The most important element in photographing fireworks is patience. Sometimes, it takes a combination of serendipity, and trial and error to get that magic shot that provides visual pizzazz and emotional impact. Here are some basic technical considerations to keep in mind.
- Use a tripod to mount and steady your camera.
- If your camera allows, set your shutter speed to bulb for time exposures of several seconds. I use a cable release and my exposures range from 2 to 5 seconds, depending on how many bursts are happening.
- Try to anticipate where the bursts are going to occur. I follow the path of the mortar shell when it ascends, and open the shutter just before the explosion.
- Medium-wide to medium telephoto lenses work best. I usually range from 50mm to about 120mm mm focal lengths). This yields a close enough image to give you some detail. However, be careful about not clipping off the fireworks trails at the edge of your frame. The trick is to pre-position your camera in the general area of the bursts and hope for the best!
© R. Scott Secord