Do I need Special Equipment to Photograph Fireworks?
Many cameras now provide you with sufficient controls to let you photograph fireworks. For information specific to your camera it’s worth checking the user manual. However, you should still read the following information and tips.
Film Camera or Digital Camera?
If you are using a film-based camera to photograph fireworks, be sure to carry extra film – and take a torch, unless you know you can change your film in darkness! Remember to have plenty film left to capture the grand finale, as usually the biggest and best fireworks are kept until last!
If you are using a digital camera to photograph fireworks, make sure you have plenty memory to allow you to take lots of pictures. The more you take, the better your chance of capturing that ‘one-in-a-million’ shot. Also make sure your camera’s battery is fully-charged.
What Exposure for Photographing Fireworks?
All cameras need sufficient light entering the camera’s lens in order to register an acceptable image. Simple cameras are limited by their fixed settings as they are designed for ease of use under normal light conditions. More advanced cameras have adjustable shutter speeds and aperture (f/stop) settings, which may be automatically, or manually controlled – depending upon the camera.
What Shutter Speed?
The camera’s shutter speed controls the length of the exposure in seconds, or fractions of seconds.
To photograph a single firework, such as a rocket, you will likely need around a one, or two second exposure – anything less is unlikely to capture the full burst, but it’s well worth experimenting with much longer exposures too, in order to capture multiple fireworks within the same picture. Read below for more information on keeping your camera steady.