Taking fireworks pix

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I have a Canon 50D that I haven't figured much out on yet. LOL Been trying to get some decent fireworks photos and can't seem to know how to set it to capture the colors and eliminate (or cut down alot) on the blurriness. Any tips on settings, etc?

Here is a photo I took recently.

Thumbnail by Anna_Z
Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

And another.........

Thumbnail by Anna_Z
Pine City, MN(Zone 4a)

You need a tripod. Google "taking fireworks pictures", you'll find lots of info. I use about a second exposure time.Fun to try different shutter speeds, and also the bulb setting.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Oh, jeez, guess I am 'tres stupid".......never thought of googling it.

Pine City, MN(Zone 4a)

That doesn't make you stupid, we're just not used to getting so much info by googling! My husband wants me to google everything now, even stuff that you couldn't possibly do. I can't think of an example right now. Maybe I should google "forgetfulness"!

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

:>) Now "all" I need to do is figure out the instruction manual. It's not written for the chronically Swiss-cheese brained. LOL

Pine City, MN(Zone 4a)

When I get a new camera, I always read the manual. Then after I use the cam a while, I read the manual again. I have never, ever, in ten years of shooting digital, used all my cameras' capabilities, I am ashamed to say.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

My brain is so dim I cannot figure most of it out. turn on, turn off, auto focus.......LOL

Pine City, MN(Zone 4a)

That's why they have automatic on them! LOL.

(Zone 7a)

Nikon had some good advice for taking pictures of fireworks. Even MY swiss cheese brain can keep this one. LOL

Get a tripod and a wired or wireless shutter release. Point your camera where you want it and make sure the flash is off. Also, put your ISO on 400. Use the shutter release instead of the one on the camera. Hold your shutter open about 30 seconds and...voila! You should have good pics of fireworks. I haven't actually tried it myself but I will when I get the shutter release.

I know it sounds weird to leave the shutter open longer rather than shorter but I have seen it work wonders.

I always, always, always carry my instruction book with me. In case I forget what I just told you! LOL

This message was edited Jul 24, 2010 1:57 PM

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

The other thing to do is put the camera into manual mode and put the shutter speed on "bulb". Open the shutter with the cable release and wait until one or more firework displays are over before closing the shutter with the cable release.

You can do this for lightning storms too as long as there is not a lot of outdoor lights.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Well, time is short, LucyBell, as my mom used to say, as we're having fireworks tonight. LOL May have to work on this till next time. My DS#1 has a license from ATF to purchase the big honkers. I just wandered through the farm shop and saw an 8 inch shell. :>) Gonna go "BANG"

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

We cross posted, hcm.............first I have to figure out HOW to get mine on "bulb". LOL

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Turn your mode dial to manual and with the shutter dial go in the direction of increasing time - "Bulb" or B should be the last one. On my Canon, I cannot get Bulb in Tv mode (shutter priority) - 30 seconds is the slowest I can get to. But in manual mode I can go one more than 30 seconds which is Bulb. Bulb takes two pushes of the shutter to operate - the first one opens the shutter and the second one closes the shutter.

Be careful with those fireworks. Somebody blew his hand or arm off recently.

http://www.traumaf.org/featured/6-29-04fireworks.html

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Forgot to mention to set your VR or IS or whatever your vendor calls it to OFF when using a tripod to keep blur to a minimum. Sounds weird but it does indeed work that way.

Also if you have the option to lock up your mirror this helps as well keep vibrations at their lowest when you open the shutter - this will take two shutter presses though (or two cable release pushes). The first press will lock up the mirror. Wait a second for the mirror to stop vibrating (mirror slap) and then press the second time to open the shutter.

Have fun!

Thumbnail by hcmcdole
Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Cool pic......love the moon.

Pine City, MN(Zone 4a)

Wow! that pic is fabulous!

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Here was the original. I copied one of my moons to put into the dark sky in this composite.

Thumbnail by hcmcdole
Olympia, WA

I made an incredible discovery while attending a fireworks show. With my little Canon - the pix were terrible - BUT - if I set the camera on a fixed surface, and took a video, I had amazing results - sound as well. Of course, sharing video w/ friends really requires you have a site - like youtube - that allows for this. It is not possible to do a simple email attachment!

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

A friend set my camera for me...........here is one of the results. A "willow", with another shell just starting to go off in the middle. The fireworks guy told me it was one of the best willow pix he's seen, as they are very hard to capture.

Thumbnail by Anna_Z
Olympia, WA

That is great, Anna. Color me green!

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

The computer doesn't really do it justice. The 8x10 enlargement is fantastic. Wish I could send you all one. :>)

Talihina, OK

Anna back in the day we use a black piece of cardboard >held it in front of the lens locked the shutter open and moved the cardboard as required it fuctioned as a shutter but was not part of the camera so no movement of course all of this depends on there being no wind no people walking around

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Whatever works, eh? :>)

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