Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Photographing Fireworks

Last response: in Digital Camera
Share
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 10:50:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I know it,s only 1st.August but i would like to know what settings to use
when filming Fireworks.I have a Nikon D70 and want to know what settings to
put the camera on any advise most welcome thankyou.
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 10:50:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

There's nothing special with the D70. Just follow the recommendation for
35mm film.

See http://www.nyip.com/tips/current/firewks.php as an example, or the many
other web sites you can find via Google.

Gregor

"Stephen Manaton" <meade@tivvy.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:D ckd61$hdj$1@news5.svr.pol.co.uk...
>I know it,s only 1st.August but i would like to know what settings to use
> when filming Fireworks.I have a Nikon D70 and want to know what settings
> to
> put the camera on any advise most welcome thankyou.
>
>
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 11:12:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Lowest ISO, F8.0, 10-20 seconds controlled by remote shutter release, solid
tripod mandatory of course.

"Stephen Manaton" <meade@tivvy.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:D ckd61$hdj$1@news5.svr.pol.co.uk...
>I know it,s only 1st.August but i would like to know what settings to use
> when filming Fireworks.I have a Nikon D70 and want to know what settings
> to
> put the camera on any advise most welcome thankyou.
>
>
Related resources
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 11:01:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 1 Aug 2005 06:50:03 +0100, "Stephen Manaton"
<meade@tivvy.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

>I know it,s only 1st.August but i would like to know what settings to use
>when filming Fireworks.I have a Nikon D70 and want to know what settings to
>put the camera on any advise most welcome thankyou.

What's the month got to do with it....

The US display fireworks on July 4th.

Canada display fireworks on July 1st.

The UK burn an effigy of a man and display fireworks on November 5th.

The Japanese display them all through July and August.

Most other places who don't have a special day (independence day or
day where a man didn't do something), the primary event is New years
eve.

What's your target date?

Back to the question. Having shot around 160 frames last July 4th, I
found the most pleasing results came from f/13 or higher and shutter
speeds between 3 and 4 seconds for a single firework bloom. Trip the
shutter when you see the light of the rocket go out just prior to it
exploding.

With a digital camera, use the lowest ISO and check the shot for
color. If the firework appears white, when in fact it was red or blue
then you've over exposed - so close down the aperture or consider
using a neutral density filter or polarizer.

You must use a tripod, but remote cable release isn't really necessary
if you are tripping the shutter when the sky is still dark (prior to
the explosion) but of course use one if you've got it.

Exposures of longer than 3 seconds risk looking messy, with the sensor
capturing too many fireworks at once, everything blends to white.

It's a game of luck. You can't always tell what's coming, how bright
it'll be or where in the sky it'll explode.

To see some examples of what you can expect:
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga/fireworks

Before I print them I'd photoshop out some of the smoke, but I just
bunged them there for you to look at.

Here, I set up the tripod in it's smallest config, manual focus to
near infinity (high aperture settings, so focus isn't crucial) used a
medum-zoom lens checked the LCD every 10 shots or so to make sure
framing was good, then sat back enjoyed the show and released the
trigger every few seconds, timed for the dark bits.

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 11:01:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Owamanga wrote:
> On Mon, 1 Aug 2005 06:50:03 +0100, "Stephen Manaton"
> <meade@tivvy.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> I know it,s only 1st.August but i would like to know what settings
>> to use when filming Fireworks.I have a Nikon D70 and want to know
>> what settings to put the camera on any advise most welcome
>> thankyou.
>
> What's the month got to do with it....
>
> The US display fireworks on July 4th.
>
> Canada display fireworks on July 1st.
>
> The UK burn an effigy of a man and display fireworks on November
> 5th.
>
> The Japanese display them all through July and August.
>
> Most other places who don't have a special day (independence day or
> day where a man didn't do something), the primary event is New years
> eve.
>
> What's your target date?
>

<snip>

If you really want practice at fireworks-shooting, come to San Diego,
CA (lower left corner of the the US of A). Someone here does a
ten-minute display at about 9:50 PM, nearly every night of the year. I
hear it. It might be Sea World, down the hill from "Ridgemont High",
scene of notorious Fast Times.

I'm not a great fireworks fan, although Owa's photos are just the way
I'd like to do them, if I did them.

--
Frank ess
"In this universe there are plenty of things that don't yield to
thinking-plain or fancy-Dude".
-J. Spicoli, PolyPartyPerson
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 12:05:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

10-20 seconds ? I think that depends on the type of fireworks you are
shooting.
I found 2-3 secs is the best for small fireworks I've shots so far. As 10s
... will give me a total white frame.

To make it easy, set to Manual focus, f/11-16 if you are using a wide angle
lens, lowest ISO, solid tripod and learn first what type of fireworks you
are shooting.
I shot a small fireworks a while back
http://etienne.multiply.com/photos/album/10 and I was shooting at 2secs
exposure time.

=bob=

"Pete D" <no@email.com> wrote in message
news:7XjHe.68426$oJ.59876@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
> Lowest ISO, F8.0, 10-20 seconds controlled by remote shutter release,
> solid tripod mandatory of course.
>
> "Stephen Manaton" <meade@tivvy.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:D ckd61$hdj$1@news5.svr.pol.co.uk...
>>I know it,s only 1st.August but i would like to know what settings to use
>> when filming Fireworks.I have a Nikon D70 and want to know what settings
>> to
>> put the camera on any advise most welcome thankyou.
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 12:05:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I like 5 seconds. I have street lights do deal with as our fireworks go off
above an old bridge. This years efforts are pretty good...a few more seconds
might not have hurt.

--
Thanks,
Gene Palmiter
(visit my photo gallery at http://palmiter.dotphoto.com)
freebridge design group
www.route611.com & Route 611 Magazine
"[BnH]" <b18[at]ii[dot]net> wrote in message
news:42edf3f6$0$11919$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au...
> 10-20 seconds ? I think that depends on the type of fireworks you are
> shooting.
> I found 2-3 secs is the best for small fireworks I've shots so far. As 10s
> .. will give me a total white frame.
>
> To make it easy, set to Manual focus, f/11-16 if you are using a wide
> angle lens, lowest ISO, solid tripod and learn first what type of
> fireworks you are shooting.
> I shot a small fireworks a while back
> http://etienne.multiply.com/photos/album/10 and I was shooting at 2secs
> exposure time.
>
> =bob=
>
> "Pete D" <no@email.com> wrote in message
> news:7XjHe.68426$oJ.59876@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
>> Lowest ISO, F8.0, 10-20 seconds controlled by remote shutter release,
>> solid tripod mandatory of course.
>>
>> "Stephen Manaton" <meade@tivvy.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
>> news:D ckd61$hdj$1@news5.svr.pol.co.uk...
>>>I know it,s only 1st.August but i would like to know what settings to use
>>> when filming Fireworks.I have a Nikon D70 and want to know what settings
>>> to
>>> put the camera on any advise most welcome thankyou.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 12:22:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi Stephen

Owamanga's posts have good advice.

Also: on the D70, you can lessen noise in the
dark areas by going into the setup menus and setting Long
Exp. NR (long exposure noise reduction) to On.
That setting is in the Shooting Menu (camera icon).

Also: some folks like to get rid of smoke. Me, I like
smoke. Follow your artistic heart.

Also: you might enjoy sticking shots together.
Here are two such composite shots from this past July 4th in
Yreka, CA. D70 settings: F11, 3 sec, ISO 200,
manual focus near infinity:

http:FreshArtDaily.com/fireworks/2005/Yreka_July_4th/fireworks_01.jpg

http:FreshArtDaily.com/fireworks/2005/Yreka_July_4th/fireworks_02.jpg

-- stan
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 12:46:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

And Pete was shooting on film. I say your protocols
would yield better results on a Nikon D70.

Scott
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 4:06:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 06:51:50 GMT, "Pete D" <no@email.com> wrote:

>Just checked and it was actually 9 seconds and F11 according to the EXIF
>info, if you want I will send you a copy of the original, hardly a big white
>mess.

No, I believe you. It's outside your 10-20 second range suggestion
though.

You were lucky with that shot - a relatively slow display that within
9 seconds had only a few explosions. It could have been that the first
4 seconds captured the launch part, so the bloom itself is still only
a 3 second exposure.

I'm not saying it can't be done - you did it, but it's risky. I doubt
a 20 second exposure would ever work, unless the shutter was tripped
16 seconds before the first firework of the display exploded

<g>


--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 4:17:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 1 Aug 2005 17:29:18 -0700, "Frank ess" <frank@fshe2fs.com>
wrote:

>If you really want practice at fireworks-shooting, come to San Diego,
>CA (lower left corner of the the US of A). Someone here does a
>ten-minute display at about 9:50 PM, nearly every night of the year. I
>hear it. It might be Sea World, down the hill from "Ridgemont High",
>scene of notorious Fast Times.

There is also the Disney displays. Not sure about the California
park's schedule, but Orlando has fireworks every night at Epcot, and
during the weekends at Magic Kingdom.

The Epcot display is fairly amazing - with lasers and a huge spherical
TV screen over a lake, but my last visit there I was caught in a queue
for fish & chips (in the 'England' section, also armed with a plastic
yard of ale) So alas, no photos. Two yards of ale more than made up
for it though. I've been an annual pass holder for both Disney &
Universal for a few years now, so I'm there fairly often.

A lot of the July 4th displays here in Florida are done on barges in
the ocean, which make great subjects for shooting, but involve the
dreaded sand stuff.

>I'm not a great fireworks fan, although Owa's photos are just the way
>I'd like to do them, if I did them.

Yeh, I'm undecided too, I haven't printed any. But I think I'm gonna
keep shooting them for the next couple of years and make a huge
panoramic composite of some sort out of the best ones.

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 4:29:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 20:22:43 GMT, "Stanley Krute" <stan@stankrute.com>
wrote:

>Hi Stephen
>
>Owamanga's posts have good advice.
>
>Also: on the D70, you can lessen noise in the
>dark areas by going into the setup menus and setting Long
>Exp. NR (long exposure noise reduction) to On.
>That setting is in the Shooting Menu (camera icon).

This, I tried during some lunar eclipse shots a few months back. It's
bloody annoying having the camera be unresponsive for so long after
each shot. In a display, you'll cut your shot count to 20% of what it
could have been, so I wouldn't think it's worth the loss in shooting
ability for any gain you get with noise.

I much prefer to sort noise out in Photoshop, only if and when it
becomes a problem. I shoot at the lowest ISO, 200 for the D70, so even
though the exposure times are quite long, my framing only included the
firework itself, so I can push any dark noisy sky to full black when I
import the RAW file and effectively kill the problem.

More care must be taken if you are framing the display with ground
objects - this also would effect your choice of exposure technique.

So, the question you have to ask is: Are you doing landscapes with
fireworks, or are you doing fireworks?

>Also: some folks like to get rid of smoke. Me, I like
>smoke. Follow your artistic heart.

Having not tried this yet, I don't know how difficult it would be. But
I guess you are right - the smoke keeps it real.

>Also: you might enjoy sticking shots together.

Sure.

>Here are two such composite shots from this past July 4th in
>Yreka, CA. D70 settings: F11, 3 sec, ISO 200,
>manual focus near infinity:
>
>http:FreshArtDaily.com/fireworks/2005/Yreka_July_4th/fireworks_01.jpg

I like that mix, because it's missing the launch streaks. Very clean.

>http:FreshArtDaily.com/fireworks/2005/Yreka_July_4th/fireworks_02.jpg

You've got a little wobble there Stan, especially visible in the
second shot. Usually the streaks are straight, curving with gravity.
But at the very end of the exposure, where the streaks end, they all
wobble the same way. Did you use a Tripod + Remote shutter or just a
tripod?

....or did you just rest the camera on a friend's head?

<g>

It does serve to give the blooms a 'fluffy' look.

So, here it must be a matter of taste, you composited the second shot
which in my opinion makes it too busy.. but you obviously wanted to do
that.

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 5:12:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Stephen Manaton" <meade@tivvy.freeserve.co.uk> writes:

> I know it,s only 1st.August but i would like to know what settings to use
> when filming Fireworks.I have a Nikon D70 and want to know what settings to
> put the camera on any advise most welcome thankyou.

Meaning you're just short of a month *late* -- to an American. You're
probably thinking of 5-Nov, though?

You don't need high ISO. I use ISO 100 often. Then you pick an
aperture that gives the trail size you want from the burning
fragments. Start around 5.6 or 8 and see what happens.

Use a tripod, pick a lens to cover the area of the sky where things
are likely to burst, focus on infinity (manually), and hold the
shutter open through one or more bursts. Since it's digital, then you
look at what you got and decide what to change.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt; Much of which is still down
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 6:39:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 07:34:07 -0600, "Roger N. Clark (change username
to rnclark)" <username@qwest.net> wrote:

>I do large format (4x5) fireworks shots. I open the shutter
>and leave it open for 30 seconds to 1 minute. I use Fujichrome
>velvia 50 at f/11. When a burst happens I cover the camera.
>I've also experimented with after a 1-minute exposure, hold
>a piece of black cardboard in front of the camera until another
>burst happens, then uncover the lens and expose for a few
>more seconds, then repeat.

Sounds like a good plan, but I presume you are not quite so zoomed
into the action as my example shots.

>In my opinion, the successful fireworks image is not how long
>you have the shutter open, but how long during a burst.

Of course. This way you can use your hand or other object to affect a
much tighter control over the effective shutter speed. There may be a
risk with a digital sensor when doing exposures of around a minute of
noise or other heat related artifacts.

>I set the camera on bulb and open the shutter when nothing is
>happening. That gets the background exposed. When a burst
>happens, I close the shutter before the burst starts to fade.

An interesting approach. I guess this gives you bright symmetrical,
clean looking explosions (ie, ones where the effects of gravity isn't
obvious).

>With this method, I get about 50% good images, based on a batch
>of 4x5s I just went through. There in in my "in box" for
>scanning along with over 100 other images. Not sure when
>I'll get to them.

Well, if you do put them on an online gallery at some point in the
future I'd like a chance to see them.

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
Anonymous
August 3, 2005 12:03:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

No, the first couple of shots were not mine, mine is down the bottom. I have
looked at some others and the 11 and 12 second ones are also fine.

<scott_birch@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1122997604.894517.300720@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> And Pete was shooting on film. I say your protocols
> would yield better results on a Nikon D70.
>
> Scott
>
!