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SA_Tosterud 07-04-2017 11:11 AM

How to Photograph Fireworks
 
In case you wanted a somewhat verbose, but hopefully informative tutorial, I wrote this up yesterday.

How to Photograph Fireworks

Jim Jones 07-04-2017 08:17 PM

Re: How to Photograph Fireworks
 
The Jim Jones rule of thumb for color transparencies is to set the aperture to the square root of the ASA or ISO of the film and hold the shutter open until you've captured one or several bursts. For B&W film, open up two stops. For this year's local fireworks with a digital camera, I focused on infinity, set the aperture to its sharp f/5.6, and used a X4 neutral filter to cut the exposure. Capturing with RAW permits better adjustment of the results.

alwaysDSLR 07-05-2017 08:32 AM

Re: How to Photograph Fireworks
 
How to Photograph Fireworks

Excellent guide! Thank you for sharing.

scoundrel1728 07-05-2017 01:30 PM

Re: How to Photograph Fireworks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Jones (Post 2358720)
The Jim Jones rule of thumb for color transparencies is to set the aperture to the square root of the ASA or ISO of the film and hold the shutter open until you've captured one or several bursts.

That rule-of-thumb gets you the same exposure density regardless of the ASA/ISO. You will want to use "slow" film or imager settings; higher ISO doesn't buy anything here and you have to use aperture settings so physically small that the resolution is degraded from diffraction, if you are using full-frame digital or a 36 x 24 mm negative or smaller. Diffraction doesn't figure quite so prominently in larger formats, but I still can think of no special reason you would want to use fast film.

Golem 07-09-2017 11:26 AM

Re: How to Photograph Fireworks
 
1 Attachment(s)
`

There are sooooo may ways to skin a cat.

In this case, in-camera [Sony] HDR.

While I'm not averse to loooong posts, I'm
not gonna even try to "tutorial" this method.

And there are so many variables when HDR
is happening in real time that it's best to fly
on a wing and a prayer ... as long as you've
got some understanding of night shooting
and of what in-camera HDR is doing.

This is hand held [not recommended but at
some venues there's no other way]. FWIW,
the exif data shows 1/4 @ ISO 1000. I know
the only lens I brought was an f/2.0, and I'd
most likely shot wide open [1/4 sec is kinda
sketchy even with IBIS, and the HDR would
then bracket from about 1/60 to 4 seconds].



Attachment 261791


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There's always been a lotta mystery baggage
attached to shooting fireworks, and the most
mysterious element, to me, lately, [about 10
years "lately"] is the puzzle of WHY so much
baggage remains.

Perficklee understandable where the baggage
originated ... film photography meant waiting
til tomorrow or next week to see what you'd
fugged up. So everyone wanted to know how
to get it right ahead of time.

But now we have instant feedback. And the
first half of a fireworks program is always just
just warm-up, just prelude for at least one or
two false finales, and then acoarst the Grand
Finale. So while the presenters launch their
practice and warm-up shots, you can do the
same, photographically acoarst !

Not as if I expect ALL the mystery baggage to
disappear, but instant feedback should reduce
it ... from the old steamer trunk down to just
a messenger bag or a fanny pack :-)



`

ShutterKlick 07-09-2017 04:30 PM

Re: How to Photograph Fireworks
 
You must know what your talking about, because the results are amazing!

Thanks for posting & the writeup!
Andrew

Golem 07-11-2017 01:24 AM

Re: How to Photograph Fireworks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ShutterKlick (Post 2359286)
You must know what your talking about,
because the results are amazing!

Andrew

Well the exif data is definitely 1/4 @ ISO 1000.

According to all other contributors, who are all
fairly uniform about this, ISO 1000 is absolutely
crazy while the 1/4 sec is just too short. Those
two data are in the exif, so thaz that.

As to the aperture, according to all other advice
in the thread, at ISO 1000 the recommended
aperture is f/32. And the tutorial has results to
support the advice given ! Even if my belief that
I shot at or near wide open [f:2.0] is a bit off, I
know that I would definitely have shot my initial
tests wide open, just by gut instinct, and acoarst
if the result were blown out, I woulda stopped it
down a bit. BUT ! I would not have closed more
than about 2 stops [f:4.0 +/-]. No way would I
close waaaay down. I know I woulda dropped
the ISO rather thn close past 2.8 or 4.0. By the
formula offered in this thread, the aperture for
ISO 1000 would be f:32 ! My lens doesn't close
past f:16 ... and as I said, I'd choose to lower
the ISO down from that 1000 if test shots were
overexposed at 2.8 or 4.0 ... and the exif shows
that I did not do that.

Sooooo .... we all posted images to support our
techniques, and it clearly shows that the "many
ways to skin a cat
" can be very widely divergent
ways yet still deliver desired results.

scoundrel1728 07-12-2017 01:20 AM

Re: How to Photograph Fireworks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Golem (Post 2359250)
`

There are sooooo may ways to skin a cat.
`

Some are messier than others; regardless, the cat gets skinned. (Who came up with such a barbaric practice, anyway?)

Golem 07-15-2017 03:14 PM

Re: How to Photograph Fireworks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scoundrel1728 (Post 2359589)
Some are messier than others; regardless, the cat gets skinned.
(Who came up with such a barbaric practice, anyway?)

I think it was Antonio Stradivari


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