Remember: When Photographing Fireworks, It Can Be Easier To Shoot Wide

We know that within the next few days both America and Canada will be celebrating their Independence days. Much of the festivities are celebrated with the lighting of fireworks. They’re big, they’re beautiful and they’re very colorful. But for many, they can be incredibly difficult to shoot. Part of this inherent difficulty comes with the fact that fireworks are so far away and are best experienced through a slow shutter speed. If you’ve got a tripod, then you don’t need to worry about this all that much–same applies to those of you with cameras that have insane image stabilization like the Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II. But if you’re handholding your camera and lens, then you’ll need to find a way to stabilize your camera.

In most situations, shooter with a wide angle lens could be easier. Why? The reciprocal rule of shutter speeds states that in order to get an image that is devoid of camera shake, you’ll need to shoot at the reciprocal or your lens’ field of view. So at 15mm wide angle lens on a full frame camera will make sense at 1/15th of a second. But on an APS-C cropped sensor camera, a 35mm f1.4 lens will make the most sense being shot at 1/50th. Slow shutter speeds really work at times like this.

Of course, this means that you’ll need to get closer to the action or at least do some extra time scouting and figuring out which location could be best for you. But beyond that, you’re going to have to find probably two more. Why? Because otherwise you’re shooting the same vista and angle over and over again. That gets boring unless you plan on seriously culling down your photos.

Happy shooting this coming weekend and Happy Independance Day to all our readers in these areas!