Here’s a selection of photos from Leeds’ Roundhay Park firework display on 5th December 2013, and a few tips on how we did them.
Get a good place to watch them
A good clear view is best, you get to watch the entire journey of all the fireworks. Too close and you may end up with some great explosion shots, but getting further away allows more options.
Don’t expose for too long
You need a long exposure, but not hugely long, because the additive effect of lots of explosions will be a burned out photo. Most of these image were 8-10 seconds, this gave them ong enough to explode to their full extent, yet not blow out. 30 second shots can end up being very busy and lose all shape.
Control the ambient light
We don’t want a bright orange sky – so it’s well worth sorting your exposure out in advance – take some photos of the sky, using ISO
100 and 10 seconds – then meter to get an aperture which leaves the sky where the fireworks appear looking dark
Pre Focus – then switch Autofocus off
Don’t risk missing an opportunity by having the camera focus system start searching when you hit the shutter. In advance, find something to focus on – a light near the firework start point is ideal. Focus on this, using Auto Focus. Now switch it off. Periodically check the focus hasn’t changed – you may knock the ring.
Use a cable release
It well worth using, your camera will move slighly if you press the shutter – so a cable stops this happening.