Happy 4th of July! (Can you believe it is already July? Am I the only one that still feels like it was March just last week?! This year is flying by!)
Anyway, it is in fact July 4th... a day to BBQ, swim, relax and celebrate with friends and family! If you have some fun firework festivities planned for later tonight, then this FAB Friday post is for you!
The key to creating awesome firework images is actually pretty simple! You need to shoot with a SLOW shutter speed. (Like, way slooooow... like you're probably going to need to use a tripod SLOW.)
The way to get your shutter speed slowed way down is to shoot with a low ISO (like, ISO 100?) and a small aperture (say f/16?)... then, set your shutter speed to get an accurate exposure. You want your shutter to be open for the entire burst of the firework, usually half a second to four seconds. So yeah, it will seem like an eternity to you, but it will make for an awesome picture!
Here are a few more things to keep in mind when shooting fireworks:
1. Use a tripod. Like we said, your shutter speed is going to be crazy slow and unless you're a statue, you're probably going to need some extra stability. If you have a timer or a remote, you might want to think about using that, too!
2. Get a correct White Balance before you start shooting. Of course, if you shoot in RAW this is less of an issue, but if you shoot in jpeg, you definitely want to get your white balance as close to accurate as possible! You do not want to be messing around with color in post-production.
3. Turn off your flash. It won't reach the fireworks anyway... but it will be distracting and it will probably blow out your foreground.
4. Try turning off Auto Focus. Since most cameras have trouble using Auto Focus in dimly lit situations, you might want to set your lens to focus to infinity when you're shooting fireworks. (In case you're wondering what infinity focus is, it's when the lens forms a sharp image of an object an infinite distance away from the camera.) It's pretty easy to set up, too. Just set your lens to Manual Focus and then turn your dial to that little infinity symbol.
5. Tell the whole story! Don't forget to get pictures of your surroundings and the spectators! Yes, fireworks are super cool to watch, but your images will be so much stronger with the whole picture painted! Add interesting elements to the foreground/background of your firework shots! Get a picture of your toddler freaking out during the big show! Take a snapshot of your snacks! Get it all!
That's it! Get out there, be safe and have fun!
Happy 4th! Xoxo!