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It's November again, and for those of us who live in England, that means Bonfire Night! It's the perfect excuse to let off some fireworks and build a massive fire (something you do really need an excuse for...). For us photographers it also happens to create the ideal opportunity for beautiful, and perhaps unforgettable, photos!
Today we're building on our firework photography guide last week, with a few more tips and lots of photo inspiration for the avid firework photographer!
NB. Those of you who live in a country that doesn't inexplicably commemorate the non-destruction of its parliament should consider bookmarking this for New Year's Eve, or using it to get some early inspiration. Whatever the event being celebrated, fireworks are the perfect photography subject and can make for astonishing and truly awesome photos!
Tips and Tricks
In this vein we'll be having a look at some fantastic photographs of fireworks to give you some inspiration. Firework displays are often used to celebrate momentous occasions and can evoke a very strong emotional response. In order to get you on your way to capturing the elusive emotional beauty of the firework, there are a few simple tips below!
Use a Tripod
It's essential when shooting fireworks that you minimise camera shake, and using a tripod is by far the best way to do this. Great firework shots require a longer shutter speed so the unique movement of light can be captured - any uneccesary camera movement will confound your shots and make them blurry and unfocused!
Also make sure that you can activate the shutter without creating any movement. You'll need to be able to anticipate and time shots accurately without disrupting the steadiness of the shot, so it's definitely worth considering a remote shutter release.
Frame Your Shot
Due to the nature of firework displays, it can be difficult to know exactly where the best bits of the action will be. Despite this, it's definitely worth thinking about how you're going to frame your shot. Make sure you have a clear, unobstructed view and consider whether you want to shoot horizontally or vertically. Horizontal shots work well if you're intending to capture a burst of fireworks within the context of a landscape, but vertical shots can more effectively frame the dramatic movement a single burst.
Get the Shutter Speed Right
It's vital that you manually configure the settings for your shot, in particular what shutter speed you'll be using. The true beauty of fireworks is in their movement and the extraordinary shapes and patterns they create. In order to capture the distinctive motion of fireworks, you'll want to use a reasonably long shutter speed - try hitting the shutter as you hear the firework take off, and holding it until just after it's finsihed!
For a more detailed look at how to take gorgeous firework photos check out our 10 Step Guide To Taking Breathtaking Firework Photographs.
Here are a few links to really useful tutorials and articles that will teach you more about this type of photography:
- A 10 Step Guide To Taking Breathtaking Firework Photographs
- How To Photograph Fireworks
- Photograph Fireworks
- How To Photograph Fireworks
Share Your Own Images!
With New Year's Eve and Bonfire Night coming up, it's the perfect opportunity for every photographer to have a go at getting some incredible firework shots. Do you have any shots that you've taken previously? Feel free to share a link in the comments - we'd love to see them!