Fireworks J2013

by Kimberly J Tilley

Here are a few photographs from a recent celebration, where fireworks were set off.  I find it a great time to experiment with the camera at a fireworks display.  I think fireworks are always interesting to photograph because you don’t know what will appear in the LCD, or on the film.  The show is fast-moving, the camera is slow, what you see with your eye is not what will be captured by the camera.  Streaks of light, trails of glitter and a few smoke clouds can make for an interesting photograph, with or with-out city, or people in the scene. I think it’s all about the lights and I try to keep the city and people out of my shots.

For photographing fireworks have your camera on a low ISO setting, 200 or below.  Sometimes cameras come pre-programmed for fireworks, like the Pentax Optio.  The kids and my husband were passing our Optio around during the fireworks.  I have not looked at the pictures yet, but I’m sure they are very interesting; especially with an impatient 6-year-old clicking away on the shutter button. 🙂 You should try to take your camera off any Auto settings, if you can.  You need to find a compromise with your camera for photographing something bright, fast, and in a dark setting.  It maybe difficult at first, but once the fireworks gets to the finale, it will be better.  The camera will enjoy shooting the bright and fast scene. 😉 A tripod is a must if you wish to capture any surrounding buildings,  landscape, or people with the fireworks.  If you are using a tripod, use this trick;  use a remote, or set the timer. Using a timed setting or a remote control will help get a sharper image because sometimes when you press the button you may move the camera as the exposure happens and potentially cause blur.


Enjoy the Summer, and the multitudes of fireworks that comes with the warm weather!