View Full Version : Fireworks in Paris

12-24-2007, 08:24 AM
Hi, folks,
I'm going with my friends to Paris for this year's New Year's Eve and I hope to get some shots of the celebrations there, the fireworks in particular. So I wanted to ask whether someone here has some experience with things like this.
I'm afraid that it's gonna be pretty crowded there so all suggestions how to take pictures without people ruining the shots are greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance and may you all have merry Xmas and happy new year :)

12-24-2007, 12:06 PM
I've never shot fireworks but I'm pretty sure you're supposed to use a tripod. Then I would shoot in shutter priority or manual mode with a shutter speed of ~2 seconds. Set everything else to get a good exposure. Experiment with the shutter speed a little to to see what kind of effects you can get.

12-24-2007, 12:54 PM
Oh, I see I didn't state clearly what exactly I had in mind.
I'm especially concerned about the crowds of people who might create quite an obstacle and how to avoid them or even better use them to improve the pictures...
Of course I'm taking my tripod with me and I do intend to use manual mode. But thank you anyway :)

12-25-2007, 06:07 AM
Try to be far enough back from the origination of the fireworks to be able to get a good shot. Use the fireworks as a background lighting for a nice landscape with the crowds and buildings.

12-28-2007, 06:33 AM
Fireworks are difficult at best to capture. You either want to be very close or very far from the point of origin. Very close is the best position to be in, it makes it much easier to frame your shots and have a better chance of capturing the best shot. You know about where the firework is going to be and can time your shutter release better. Exposure is not that big of a deal, positioning of your point of aim is paramount. If you are not pointed in the area of detonation, the best exposure still looks black. If you are shooting overhead you stand a much better chance of at least something being in the image. Unless you are far enough away to see the whole detonation AND have your shutter open, it's hit or miss as to whether you'll capture the actual firework. Use an ISO like 400 because if you have done everything right and you do have it framed correctly and the shutter open when it can actually record something, a high ISO will just increase the amount of noise in the image.

I like to be within 100 yards of ground zero, camera on the tripod, a short tele lens aimed in the right area, release set up, and when the shot is fired wait 4 to 8 seconds and release the shutter and hold it open until the detonation is no longer visible. Most fireworks have a delay built in before detonation, it's standard in the industry, if you can get that information you are way ahead of everyone else. Fortunately most pyrotechnic people love to talk and if you strike a conversation with one of the people shooting the fireworks you can find out the information, before hand. You can find out order of shots, delay of shot, just about everything you need to take the best picture you can.