Summer is a time for catching lightening bugs, BBQs, pool parties and learning how to photograph fireworks. When learning to photograph fireworks it’s important to remember one thing – slow shutter speed.
3 Tips to help you photograph fireworks
1. Use a tripod.
Since you will be using a slower shutter speed you don’t want to rely on your shaky hands to hold the camera. In fact, some people prefer to use a remote when clicking your shutter button to keep even the slight movement of clicking the button from messing up their image. I push the button myself but that is up to you.
2. Slow that shutter speed WAY down.
This is the key to capturing really cool fireworks. Slow shutter speed! If you remember nothing else, remember this. To make sure your image is properly exposed with a slower shutter speed you will want to increase your aperture and lower your ISO. I played around with different shutter speeds to find one that captured the falling fireworks.
Do you see how the shutter speed wasn’t open long enough because it didn’t get a nice stream of the firework trail?
Settings: f/16, ISO 100, SS 1.3 secs
Shutter Speed – 1.3 secs
This one is my favorite. I found my perfect shutter speed.
Settings: f/16, ISO 100, SS 2.5 secs
Shutter Speed – 2.5 secs
Notice how the shutter speed was too long which caused the firework to be overexposed in the middle.
Settings: f/16, ISO 100, SS 5 secs
Shutter Speed – 5 secs
3. Check your white balance.
Be sure to set your white balance so you don’t need to play around with it in post processing.
Remember to play around with your shutter speed because there is no perfect settings for fireworks. However, please don’t focus on capturing the fireworks so much that you miss enjoying them or even better, enjoying your little ones enjoy them!