Many a budding shutterbug has attempted unsuccessfully to photograph fireworks by merely pointing their film camera to the sky and shooting, resulting dark useless prints.
With the advent of digital photography, photographing fireworks has become easy, just by following some basic steps:
- Find a location away from the crowd and power lines. An elevated location on a hillside or on the back of a pickup truck might be adequate. You might even want to scout out your perch beforehand.
- Set your camera to use standard quality pics. Having too high quality settings will result in too long of write speed, thereby making you miss shots.
- Set the shutter speed to 1 second or longer.
- Use a tripod. If you can't find a tripod use a nice steady base.
- Turn off the flash. This might seem like common sense. Remember you are photographing lights. Any light projected onto another light will merely take away from the light you are trying to photograph.
- Point your camera toward the sky and shoot. A key to getting a good shot is anticipating when the firework will explode. Initially You will have many hit and miss shots. As the show goes along, you will be able to perfect your timing thereby getting excellent shots. Being able to review the shots afterwards and delete the poor quality shots is satisfaction enough, rather than using up a great amount of film with a film camera.