This year, everyone grab your cameras and lets take some great photographs of those fireworks we all think are going to look spectacular until you get them home and look at them. With the following tips, you’re sure to capture some impressive images:
1) First, check the wind direction and get up wind of the show so not to get covered up with smoke. Nothing worse than a bunch of pictures of smoke.
2) Bring along a tripod if you have one. If not, use your knee to steady your camera. Shooting on a tripod allows you capture longer exposures without moving the camera.
3) Read those directions that came with your camera. Check out how to set the self timer. You want the movement of the light from the fireworks, but not the camera. Even your hand depressing the shutter release on the camera can cause a picture to blur.
4) Get your camera set up properly. First, turn off the flash. Many beginners do not realize this can be done. Usually, in the menu, you can find a icon with a lightning bolt that represents the flash. Look then for that symbol with a line through it. That should turn off your flash. Then, if your camera has a setting that allows you to set your shutter speed, try experimenting with long exposures. Try a 3, 5, and 10 second exposure to see what you get. Typically, you will be better off using a long exposure for the individual fireworks and a shorter exposure for the grand finale (since there is so much light in the sky with all the bursts). Remember that the longer the exposure, the more of a “trail” you will see for each burst and the more likely you are to catch multiple bursts in one image.
Lastly, shoot a lot. Memory cards can store lots of photos, which gives you lots of room to experiment. Like most good photographers, you need to shoot a lot to get one or two great pictures. Let us know how your shots turn out. Have a great but safe 4th of July.