Fireworks are an iconic part of Americana. Something we look forward to every 4th of July. They can be one of the most frustrating things to photograph, but when they are done well they can be made into custom canvas prints. These one of a kind pieces of artwork will be a conversational piece all year round. The trick is getting the shot. Here are 5 tips to remember when you go out with the family this year to check out the firework show.
1. Bring the Right Equipment
No matter how talented a photographer is, without the right equipment to complement that talent, getting beautiful photography will be next to impossible.
A DSLR camera is almost a must to create your firework photos into these one of a kind custom canvas prints. A point-and-shoot camera may not always provide the best image resolution and most won’t allow you to create timed exposures (which is necessary to create killer firework photos).
In addition, be sure to have the following equipment with you as well: a tripod to keep your hands steady and prevent you from producing blurry images is a must. And bringing a flashlight is also a good idea. This will help you see the camera’s settings better especially in the dark.
2. Scout the Area You’ll Be Shooting In
It’s a fact that the 4th of July celebration will bring out people in droves to see fireworks lighting up the sky. So before they start filling up the area you’re in, be sure to drop in early to scout your location. Doing so will give you the benefit of finding a nice vantage point where you can shoot. It also makes it easier for you to adjust your camera’s settings and focus to adapt to your surroundings, especially before dark. You don't want to be stuck behind a tree or in a spot where you will be in someones way while you are taking photos.
3. Choose To Go Manual
While it’s a lot easier for you to take photos using the automatic setting on your DSLR, you will miss out on the potential in the photos that you can get when using the manual mode. The knock on the automatic setting on cameras is that they don’t give you the freedom to adjust your camera’s settings to adapt to your current surrounding. Fireworks can create huge bursts of light so you want to be able to set the perfect exposure that will capture both the quick bursts of light and the longer exposures that will allow you to get the longer trailing tails of light that fireworks create.
Using the manual mode of your DSLR you have total control over how your shots will come out since you can easily adjust the exposure and shutter speed. Since no two fireworks displays are alike, you’ll need to have a camera that will enable you to make the necessary changes in setting to ensure the quality of your shots.
4. Keep Your ISO Low
One of the pains of shooting fireworks is the intensity of the light they give off. With an improper setting, you’ll end up with one that is either too dark or too washed out. To keep you from running into this problem, always remember one important rule keep your camera on a low ISO setting.
With a low ISO setting - roughly between ISO 50 to 200 - you get to avoid light from hitting the image sensor and a longer exposure time allowing you to get better shots. Plus, since fireworks are designed to be really bright, running a high ISO will leave you with washed out images instead.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment with Your Shots
One of the joys of photography is the creative freedom that comes with it. So when shooting fireworks, don’t be shy about trying different shooting techniques. If you’re the type who wants to capture the finer details of each display, be sure to zoom in using your lens.
Aside from simple zooming in or out, you could also get some cool effects by using a timed exposure to get multiple fireworks in one photo. Although there are required settings for photographing fireworks, that doesn’t mean you can’t think out of the box and try something different. Who knows, you may end up with a unique set of photos that you can turn into those custom canvas prints for your wall.