If you have ever seen a fireworks show in person then you know just how awesome it can be. I have photographed a few different firework shows and they each presented some different challenges. I always see someone who tries to capture them with there cell phone or pocket camera. This isn’t impossible, but the results are generally not that good.
You need to follow a few simple rules:
Your camera need to be mounted on a tripod or very steady surface
You need a slower shutter speed
Low ISO value (so the image quality isn’t noisy with mis-colored pixels)
Here is a good starting point for your SLR:
Manual Mode / Medium to Wide Angle Lens / Tripod / 3-6s or Bulb with cable release / f10 +/- / ISO 100 / Manual Focus just shy of infinity
Point and Shoot:
If you can set the values above is best, if not your camera should have a fireworks or night exposure mode
With either one you should wait until the trail of the firework is just starting and press the shutter. This should give you the trail and the firework ball just after it explodes. The point and shoot users might need to wait a moment longer as there camera might not stay open long enough to capture the entire firework explosion.
I have had many images with too much smoke in the shot and that really takes away from the image. If you are a Photoshop user you might be able to salvage the image by using the “BurnTool”. With the burn tool you can darken the smoke and make it blend in with the background, and this really makes the firework POP!
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