View Full Version : How to shoot fireworks

09-15-2005, 06:09 PM
What are the best tips and techniques to shooting fireworks? What camera settings tend to work best?

09-16-2005, 08:01 AM
What are the best tips and techniques to shooting fireworks? What camera settings tend to work best?

I'll give my experience, although I strongly urge you to use the search for fireworks. I remember a great thread back around the 4th of July that covered that topic quite well...

My experience has to just been to use a wide open aperture (f2.8 in my case) and a relatively fast shutter speed. The fireworks are generally bright, so you don't need to be too slow. However, if you go with a slower speed (you may need a smaller aperture) you can get more trails and such in your shots. I also find that using a tri-pod or monopod helps a bit in the steadiness, although I don't get the camera too fixed. I find I need to be able to quickly aim since each firework seems to shift location.... I also use the LCD for aiming (lets me watch the show myself).


09-16-2005, 08:03 AM
Thanks, Erik. I remember that thread...I'll do a search. Meanwhile, thanks for yur input.

Norm in Fujino
09-16-2005, 09:44 AM
1. Camera on tripod; test with a couple of early shots and set elevation and zoom for where you get the best view of the burst in the viewfinder.
2. Set white balance for around 5300 K
3. Set ISO for 100
4. Set aperture to somewhere between 4 and 11, and
5. Set shutter between 4 and 10 seconds (these are where experimentation comes in).
(6. If your camera has some kind of NR for time exposures (black-frame subtraction), you might want to engage it, although it will double the time required for each shot. I didn't use any on the shots below)

Watch for the flash signaling the rising shot, and operate shutter just before you anticipate the burst. If possible, use a remote control to prevent shaking the camera. The longer the exposure, the more potential to catch multiple bursts, but also the more exposure the frame will have, possibly making the image excessively busy, or adding noise.



Both of the above were taken with Olympus E-300 + ZD 14-54mm @ 49mm (f8 @ 9 sec).

If you do a google search there are a number of sites that will give you basically the same information as above.