Screenshot taken from the video.
The 4th of July is upon us and that means many of you will be making your way to public gatherings to view and capture some stunning imagery of the show. As we have pointed out in a previous post, the actual act of shooting fireworks is quite simple, both from a settings and gear perspective. But as we know, many times just doing the basics of something can lead to basic results. So, if you think you want to take your fireworks images beyond the basics this year, you are in the right place.
Get to Your Location Early
Plan ahead and get to the fireworks location early so that you can set up your shot in a good spot. Do research on that fireworks show if you have not been to that location before so that you know where the fireworks will be firing from.
Play with Your Composition
Composition is a key thing to consider in photography and shooting fireworks is no different. Pointing your lens up into the sky with no foreground elements or environment is not recommended. Skylines and treelines are the low hanging fruit of fireworks composition, start there to find yourself a ‘safe’ shot. Then look around for some more creative compositions in that same spot or nearby, if getting the crowd in the shot is possible that can be a great image.
Use a Cable Release + Bulb Mode
Another thing to do is introduce a cable release (Incredibly cheap on Amazon) into your kit and experiment with bulb mode during the fireworks show. This will give you less consistent results, but it will allow you to play more with how the fireworks appear in your shot (longer trails vs shorter, etc).
Neil Creek’s Firework Night Photography Unlocked video over on Youtube offers some great suggestions as well, and shows how to play with your settings to achieve the results you are looking for. Give it a look if you need some fireworks photography help.