|Nikon D3S, 14-24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 8 sec|
The success of a great fireworks shot is the location. You need to know where the fireworks will go off well before they do.
You don't want to be trying to lineup your shot after they have started. You can tweak your composition, but don't be caught not knowing where they will go off.
Consider clear view verses using foreground or surrounding to help make your fireworks stand out. My favorite shots tend to be those iconic locations in the foreground like the Statue of Liberty or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Tripod and Cable Release
I recommend using a tripod and a cable release. This will keep the camera as still as possible during a long exposure.
|This is the Nikon MC-30 that I have used for years on different Nikon Cameras.|
- White Balance - Daylight
- ISO 100
- Bulb Shutter-speed and keep open for two bursts of fireworks using cable release
My exposures were from 6 seconds to about 12 seconds on average. I typically might shoot 75 to 100 photos and only really like about 10 of those shots.
|Nikon D3S, 14-24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 11 sec|
When to press shutter?
When you hear the boom of the fireworks, click the shutter and don't let go until the end of the second fireworks. The bursting will create those wonderful shapes. If you shoot at faster shutter speeds you just don't get the same exposure. The reason is as the bright fragments are moving you are capturing them through out the exposure, whereas the faster shutter speed would freeze them.
This is similar to photographing car lights on streets at night. By letting the cars continue to move you get a trace of the lights through the photo.
|Nikon D3S, 14-24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 6 sec|