Photographing Fireworks

On Thursday we had a fascinating talk on how to photograph the elusive but spectacular light show that results from fireworks.

Matthew Browne gave an extremely comprehensive review of the issues surrounding this branch of photography. Matthew is a locally based professional photographer( http://www.mathewbrowne.co.uk ) who has great skills in capturing images of travel, cityscapes, landscapes and night photography of course including fireworks.

Mathew has kindly provided a copy of his presentation which contains a number of points to consider and techniques to try when we are engaged in the process of creating images of fireworks.

Perhaps the most key was preparation, understanding where to be and when to be there was a fundamental strategy, it is difficult to capture images when covered by a pall of smoke or surrounded by a jostling crowd.

The equipment needed to get images can range from modest to extreme but if you have a tripod or equivalent plus a reasonably wide angle lens and a remote release then you are set to start your journey into the ephemeral!

Some quick tips noted from Matthews talk were:

  • Plan ahead to get to the right place at the right time, pick your location carefully

  • Use a tripod whenever you can, if that is impractical find other means of supporting your camera.

  • Find and fix focus, turn off image stabilisation

  • Take multiple images, some before any display, some afterwards

  • Avoid blown highlights - lean toward underexposure

  • Shoot in RAW format to aid post processing

  • Wide angle lenses are very helpful, you can crop later

There is much more to be said but Matthews presentation is a great resource for ideas on the “how to” aspects of this subject.

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