DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Fireworks...any tips
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 39, (reverse)
AuthorThread
06/21/2008 08:53:30 AM · #1
I am hoping to shoot fireworks on Monday night...never shot them before. I have done some reading..some suggest iso 100...some 200. I have read and seen pics of apertures at f8 and f11 and shutter speeds from 2.5 seconds to 30 seconds. I hear that a remote is also recommended. I will of course use my tripod. I don't want to spend all my time practicing settings when I'm there. Someone also suggested shooting RAW. Suggestions...tips?
06/21/2008 09:14:56 AM · #2
Lowest ISO you can go, f8 is good. I use bulb setting and a cable release.
I have some fireworks photos in my portfolio here, and some at smugmug..

One important factor is location. Don't be downwind from the smoke! Also, if you can have a water feature between you and the fireworks, it makes for some nice reflections.

There have been other threads about fireworks before - might be worth a search, eh. ;-Þ
06/21/2008 09:23:16 AM · #3
Hello Linny,

I have only tried to photo fireworks once, last year in November.

//www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=614111

To be honest, most of my firework pictures were not as good as this one, but my settings (8 secs, iso 100, f/9) worked for this shot.
I think the lower the iso the better, and f/9 - f/11 is probably a good setting. I didn't have my tripod so I could not review the settings to see if the pictures were sharp (camera put on a stone column for stability)
I guess you have to hope that the speed of the firework is perfectly optimised with the duration of the shutter, something that maybe can be optimised on the shot. Maybe an expert will voice their opinion.

Good luck, I would be interested to see any of your good shots, love fireworks!

06/21/2008 09:24:31 AM · #4
ISO 100, f/8, length of exposure will vary depending on effect you want. How widely spaced are the fireworks, for example? That makes a difference. Wide angle, as a rule, is the way to go. Manual focus, prefocus to infinity and leave it alone. Water in foreground is great if you can find it.

The following example was shot at ISO 400 and 15 seconds. Why the higher ISO? because I wanted detail in the surroundings, but I didn't want a longer exposure (15 secs was already too long, really, see how blown the fireworks are?)

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/611/120/445420.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/611/120/445420.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

R.
06/21/2008 09:50:11 AM · #5
Thank you for the great suggestions and for reminding me to do a search. I see there was a challenge with some great pictures...good tips. For those who responded...your pictures are incredible. I am still learning and I'm really excited to try this.
06/21/2008 09:51:20 AM · #6
Here are my tips.

-focus on infinity and then set your camera to manual focus in the direction of the fireworks
-use a tripod (duh, LOL)
-f/9, 10 or 11
-ISO 100
-set camera on rapid shoot, just keep clicking
-shutter speed? I adjusted it throughout the fireworks show

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/611/120/445748.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/611/120/445748.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

This was entered in the "Straight from the Camera" challenge, no editing:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/519/120/356303.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/519/120/356303.jpg', '/') + 1) . '


06/21/2008 09:55:13 AM · #7
I just started experimenting with hdr...I use Photomatix. I love your picture and the detail. what was your exposure variance set at for the 5 exposures. I don't know if I will have time to try that. My camera has a bracketing feature which I just tried a couple of times so far.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

ISO 100, f/8, length of exposure will vary depending on effect you want. How widely spaced are the fireworks, for example? That makes a difference. Wide angle, as a rule, is the way to go. Manual focus, prefocus to infinity and leave it alone. Water in foreground is great if you can find it.

The following example was shot at ISO 400 and 15 seconds. Why the higher ISO? because I wanted detail in the surroundings, but I didn't want a longer exposure (15 secs was already too long, really, see how blown the fireworks are?)

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/611/120/445420.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/611/120/445420.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

R.
06/21/2008 10:01:16 AM · #8
Originally posted by linny:

I just started experimenting with hdr...I use Photomatix. I love your picture and the detail. what was your exposure variance set at for the 5 exposures. I don't know if I will have time to try that. My camera has a bracketing feature which I just tried a couple of times so far.


It wasn't... It is "pseudo HDR". I took a single RAW exposure (from among the MANY I shot) and created 5 variations on it in the RAW processor, saving them as 16-bit TIFF files. Then I opened them all in Photomatix and did an HDR merge and tone mapping. So I had some exposed for the deep shadows, some for the midtones, some for the highlights, and so forth, that's what I merged. But they were all variants from a single RAW. Obviously, the highlights on the launch trails especially were totally blown, nothing could rescue those...

R.


06/21/2008 10:04:47 AM · #9
Thanks...the word "single" should have been my first clue! Maybe I will give that a try.

This is an impressive fireworks display...it's the International Freedom Festival Fireworks shared between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. I'm shooting from the Windsor side. Thanks again for your feedback.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by linny:

I just started experimenting with hdr...I use Photomatix. I love your picture and the detail. what was your exposure variance set at for the 5 exposures. I don't know if I will have time to try that. My camera has a bracketing feature which I just tried a couple of times so far.


It wasn't... It is "pseudo HDR". I took a single RAW exposure (from among the MANY I shot) and created 5 variations on it in the RAW processor, saving them as 16-bit TIFF files. Then I opened them all in Photomatix and did an HDR merge and tone mapping. So I had some exposed for the deep shadows, some for the midtones, some for the highlights, and so forth, that's what I merged. But they were all variants from a single RAW. Obviously, the highlights on the launch trails especially were totally blown, nothing could rescue those...

R.
06/21/2008 11:47:50 AM · #10
Originally posted by linny:

Thanks...the word "single" should have been my first clue! Maybe I will give that a try.


You should definitely be shooting in RAW, so that tone mapping workflow is always an option to explore after. However, be aware that you will get a LOT of noise int he dark areas, so you will need to adjust for that both in Photomatix (shadows smoothing tab) and, probably, with Neat Image or some other noise-removal program.

R.
06/21/2008 12:08:33 PM · #11
As for shutter times. I use my eyes to determine when the exposure ends. If I have seen enough fireworks go off I'll close the shutter. Sometimes I wait for several before closing it. Sometimes I just click a 1 second exposure, others I keep open for 20 seconds or more, depends on the action going on at the moment. Best tip I can give though is...don't stop shooting until your card is full. Once you are setup with your tripod, flashlight, etc there's nothing to do except take pictures, no focusing, no playing with settings, just shoot away and enjoy.

Have fun

Message edited by author 2008-06-21 12:09:19.
06/21/2008 12:18:09 PM · #12
Try zooming in a bit closer from time to time - it gives a whole new perspective.... a very different look to what we usually expect to see in a firework shot.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/521/120/358795.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/521/120/358795.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
06/21/2008 12:21:52 PM · #13
I have noticed others talking about Neat Image...is this a CS3 plug in or separate program? Do you have a link? I will remember to shoot in RAW...it just takes up so much room on the card and my hard drive. I need an external hard drive just for my photography.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by linny:

Thanks...the word "single" should have been my first clue! Maybe I will give that a try.


You should definitely be shooting in RAW, so that tone mapping workflow is always an option to explore after. However, be aware that you will get a LOT of noise int he dark areas, so you will need to adjust for that both in Photomatix (shadows smoothing tab) and, probably, with Neat Image or some other noise-removal program.

R.
06/21/2008 12:21:56 PM · #14
I keep a black card with me and sometimes slide it in front of the lens periodically while shutter stays open, so I can include blooms from several series in one shot...

R.
06/21/2008 12:22:49 PM · #15
That is so neat! Looks like feathers. Thanks

Originally posted by Beetle:

Try zooming in a bit closer from time to time - it gives a whole new perspective.... a very different look to what we usually expect to see in a firework shot.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/521/120/358795.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/521/120/358795.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
06/21/2008 12:23:29 PM · #16
Originally posted by linny:

I have noticed others talking about Neat Image...is this a CS3 plug in or separate program? Do you have a link? I will remember to shoot in RAW...it just takes up so much room on the card and my hard drive. I need an external hard drive just for my photography.


Yeah, we practically all have external hard drives, LOL. But RAW is REALLY Useful for fireworks. Neat Image is a standalone or plugin program for photoshop. Another many people like is Noise Ninja. Google them for links.

R.
06/21/2008 12:53:36 PM · #17
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I keep a black card with me and sometimes slide it in front of the lens periodically while shutter stays open, so I can include blooms from several series in one shot...

R.


I forgot to mention that. I have my E3 set to 2 minutes on bulb and choose which blooms I want to capture by covering the lens with my gloved hand or a black cloth.
06/21/2008 01:17:39 PM · #18
Has anyone thought about using a G ND filter to bring up the shadow areas on the ground. I still have some excellent slides that I shot at f5.6 and 8 on iso 200 E chrome about 30 years ago. I remembered the settings, and still use the same with digital shooting. The black card idea is very good suggestion. The 4th of July is coming soon.
06/21/2008 01:40:19 PM · #19
I'm not sure I completely understand the black card idea. Also, for my fellow Canadians...July 1st.

Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

Has anyone thought about using a G ND filter to bring up the shadow areas on the ground. I still have some excellent slides that I shot at f5.6 and 8 on iso 200 E chrome about 30 years ago. I remembered the settings, and still use the same with digital shooting. The black card idea is very good suggestion. The 4th of July is coming soon.
06/21/2008 01:50:29 PM · #20
Originally posted by linny:

I'm not sure I completely understand the black card idea. Also, for my fellow Canadians...July 1st.

Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

Has anyone thought about using a G ND filter to bring up the shadow areas on the ground. I still have some excellent slides that I shot at f5.6 and 8 on iso 200 E chrome about 30 years ago. I remembered the settings, and still use the same with digital shooting. The black card idea is very good suggestion. The 4th of July is coming soon.


It's used to cover your lens while your camera's shutter is open, like in bulb mode or during a 60second exposure. This allows you to choose which blooms you want to have captured. Takes a little practice in choosing which ones but you'll get it. That's the fun part actually.

Here in Montreal we have the International Fireworks Competition every summer and I think the first one is this Wed. In all 10 countries participate over 4 weeks every Wed. and Sat so i'll have lots of oppurtunities to shoot some fireworks. Also, we have June 24th separatist traitor day for fireworks as well as July 1st Canada Day festivities.

Message edited by author 2008-06-21 13:55:16.
06/21/2008 01:52:58 PM · #21
Originally posted by Jac:

Originally posted by linny:

I'm not sure I completely understand the black card idea. Also, for my fellow Canadians...July 1st.

Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

Has anyone thought about using a G ND filter to bring up the shadow areas on the ground. I still have some excellent slides that I shot at f5.6 and 8 on iso 200 E chrome about 30 years ago. I remembered the settings, and still use the same with digital shooting. The black card idea is very good suggestion. The 4th of July is coming soon.


It's used to cover your lens while your camera's shutter is open, like in bulb mode or during a 60second exposure. This allows you to choose which blooms you want to have captured. Takes a little practice in choosing which ones but you'll get it. That's the fun part actually.


What he said :-)

R.
06/21/2008 05:18:14 PM · #22
Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

Has anyone thought about using a G ND filter to bring up the shadow areas on the ground.


I was in the bookstore last night looking through the latest release of photography magazines. (They have a lot in Japan, and they all seem to get published in the same week.) Anyway, one of them did have an article about taking fireworks, and suggested ND 2 and ND 4 filters as part of your kit.
07/03/2008 10:02:54 PM · #23
Well, I am going to give it a shot tomorrow. The only other camera I've ever used for fireworks was my G2 and I had a choice of completely white blooms, or dim blurred colored dots. I am excited to see what this cam can do.

Just to recap, I'll want the following settings?

ISO 200 (lowest on the D300)
Bulb
RAW
And manual focus on infinity

That seem good?
07/03/2008 10:24:41 PM · #24
Originally posted by togtog:


Just to recap, I'll want the following settings?

ISO 200 (lowest on the D300)
Bulb
RAW
And manual focus on infinity

That seem good?

I actually tried fireworks on Tuesday (Canada Day here) – my first effort:
ISO 100 (btw doubt there is no way to get ISO 100 on D300)
F11
Manual focus
Bulb with remote: open with the burst and close when trail fades
In hindsight: should have also experimented with f16 and maybe even f22 - 15-24 sec ones ended up with more than desired blown out blotches… the fireworks ended by the time I realized this.
Sorry no examples: didn’t have time to process yet.
Good luck tomorrow!!!
07/03/2008 10:29:31 PM · #25
I was shooting for no more than 4 seconds on Tuesday. f8 - f11 How long you leave the shutter open depends on how many bursts there are.

Focus on infinity or just before though this depends on how far away you are from the show.
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 02/20/2020 09:48:37 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2020 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 02/20/2020 09:48:37 AM EST.