Fireworks long exposure

Technical: Nikon D200, 1.3 sec, f13, focal length 29, ISO 100


Nikon D200, 4 sec, f13, focal length 75, ISO 100

As I have learned, long exposures work very nicely for fireworks. Here you see two examples taken in 2009. The buildings are sharp. With fireworks, almost like running water, a long exposure will give a nice blend. The exploding shells can create trails that will fill the frame as opposed to a shorter exposure. Either style can work.

Until recently, I hand held my fireworks shots. But now I definitely recommend a tripod. What I have learned is that there really is no right exposure. I start with 2-3 seconds and then dial the f-stop. Remember to keep the ISO constant. And, the camera is of course on manual. In darkness it is often a challenge for the camera to auto-focus. So set the camera to infinity, or at least focus on any object in the distance. If you don’t have buildings or trees in the frame then sharpness is less noticeable. When shooting at dusk, the beginning of the fireworks, try to get some of that great ambient glow from the sunset that just happened.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s