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Thread: Taking photos of fire works

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    Member nossi5's Avatar
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    Taking photos of fire works

    Gday guys, im looking at taking a few photos of the fire works in Melbourne tonight and as im still learning i was wondering if anyone could help me out with which setting to use. I will be using a Nikon D90. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    Cheers Peter
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    It is quite hard. i tried a few months ago and one of the things i learnt was sometimes the same camera settings would be spot on and other times too bright or dark. depends on exactly which fireworks had expoded. i think mine were exposing for about 3 secs and they turned out ok.

    you can take a look at the exif at:
    http://johncat.smugmug.com/Events/Sy...24987767_aCs6R

    depends on how close you are as well.

    Have your preview on so you can see if they are turning out quickly.

    sometimes the smoke will ruin shots later on in the sequence. again pot luck!
    boggo.

    feel free to fix my shots and send them back to me!

    canon 5d2

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    General rules of thumb:

    * Place yourself up-wind of the fireworks.
    * Use a wide angle lens
    * use your lowest iso setting (100 on Canon's, 200 on most Nikons)
    * stop down to between f/8 and f/11
    * use a tripod and cable release
    * expose for approx. 2 to 30 secs depending on frequency and brightness of the fireworks.
    * If there are city lights, try to get them in as a compositional element as fireworks on their own tend to get boring very fast.

    There are a few exceptions to this, for instance the Brisbane Riverfire fireworks usually have a single decent shot available and it's usually about a 1 min exposure.
    Dave

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    There you go, Dave has given it to you in a nutshell. If you don't have a cable release you could (Just) use the self portrait setting, but it would be slow and you would only be able to take a shot every 10 seconds or so. Probably better at this late juncture to go along and suss out good spots for next year - fireworks shots need a fair bit of planning.
    Odille

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    Thanks heaps. Hopefully i get the chance to take a few tonight.

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    weather isn't looking to good in melbourne as i am writing this.. looking at the BoM website, there a huge mass of clouds heading our way

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    Quote Originally Posted by draco View Post
    weather isn't looking to good in melbourne as i am writing this.. looking at the BoM website, there a huge mass of clouds heading our way
    Hi, was going to do the same thing as well, but severe thunderstorms, rain, high winds and hail about to hit Melbourne around 9:30pm tonight !

    if thunderstorms continue ... the Fireworks might be cancelled as well.
    maybe instead try to capture the lightening. but be careful out there.

    Cheers
    Robert

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    Not looking real good for the Melbourne fireworks tonight. Heaps of lightning on its way

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    yeah.. was on my way but decided to go back as it's pouring out there.. but looking at the BoM again, the midnight fireworks might be OK..

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    Hopefully by midnight it will be ok.............. but I dought it
    Just watched the Sydney 9pm ones. They were unbelievable.

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    Antipod
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAdeGroot View Post
    General rules of thumb:
    Good list. Extra rule:
    * manual focus on infinity
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    +1 on Dave and Joosts advice above .. heres a couple of examples from NYE in Sydney last year (2008)













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    bigdazzler

    I think you have a very good collection of images there, good color, focus and composition in some is excellent
    I stuffed my fireworks last night a lot, played with street shots and forgot to reset my exposure time to 2.5-3 seconds
    all I have is smoke and some light
    good news is,
    there is a chance on 26th this month
    going to the City aiming for big picture on Sydney Harbour
    Happy NEW YEAR everyone !
    linuxgear

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    Nice shots Darren, especially #4. Hope you had a great night as well.

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    New Member rosmarin's Avatar
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    Wow Darren, those pics are great. I was so dissapointed that I was not able to get any decent pictures this year! Maybe next year....a full year to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAdeGroot View Post
    General rules of thumb:

    * Place yourself up-wind of the fireworks.
    * Use a wide angle lens
    * use your lowest iso setting (100 on Canon's, 200 on most Nikons)
    * stop down to between f/8 and f/11
    * use a tripod and cable release
    * expose for approx. 2 to 30 secs depending on frequency and brightness of the fireworks.
    * If there are city lights, try to get them in as a compositional element as fireworks on their own tend to get boring very fast.

    There are a few exceptions to this, for instance the Brisbane Riverfire fireworks usually have a single decent shot available and it's usually about a 1 min exposure.
    Yep and one more tip some great results if you open shutter from when you first see it take off and then release once exploded.

    as with this one

    Newbie to the world of Digital Gear: Nikon D60 - 18-55mm - 55 - 200mm - SB400 - New Sigma 10-20mm
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vk5mmm

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Good to see people benefited from my post

    Nice shots all round!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAdeGroot View Post
    Good to see people benefited from my post

    Nice shots all round!
    mine were taken a year ago Dave .. but you can have the credit

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    Slight alternative method to what has been proposed above. Go with the low ISO, aperture of f8-f11 and long exposure time. If you want to avoid the trails take along something black. Hold it in front of the lens when it opens, remove it when the fireworks explode and you get what you want and then replace the black in front of the lens. CAn work extremely well for multiple starbursts close together when removing and replacing the black obstruction.

    I'm sorry if this was mentioned in the links provided by bigbikes. Without knowing what your equipment is may I also suggest using the bulb mode if you have it as this works extremely well.

    Daz it might help if you provided settings to your images also unless they are the same as Dave suggested and then specify SS
    Vince

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    C & C encouraged on all images


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