Archive for ‘Fireworks’

January 1, 2013

Panoramic Fireworks

It is easy to leave images in the same proportions as they were shot.  We all know how to crop to make an image stronger, but often we still crop to those original proportions.  While editing some fireworks images, I thought I would try to develop a series of panoramic proportions.  Once I started, I really liked what I saw, and a number of these may be used in a future triptych or quadriptych. These images were all cropped to a 1 x 2.8 proportion.Globalfest 2012, Mexico entry, Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Globalfest 2012, Philippines entry, Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Globalfest 2012, Philippines entry, Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Globalfest 2012, Philippines entry, Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

From top to bottom, the exposure details were:

ISO100, 24 mm, f18, 15 seconds

ISO100, 24 mm, f18, 5 seconds

ISO100, 24 mm, f14, 5 seconds

ISO100, 24 mm, f16, 4 seconds

Advertisements
December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

A festive image from Globalfest in 2012.  This was the Philippines entry–one of the first shots of the evening before the sky turned fully black.

Globalfest 2012, Philippines entry, Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

ISO 200, f11, 48 mm, 4 seconds

April 7, 2012

Capturing Fireworks

I have recently become enamoured with photographing fireworks.  Every summer in mid-August, Calgary hosts an International Fireworks Festival (as do a number of other cities).  Last year was the first time I attended, and I had only ever photographed one fireworks event before (a small event in Trinity, Newfoundland).  I did some searching online to see how others had captured their images and played around with a number of different techniques.  Over the course of 5 evenings during the festival, I perfected my technique.

This image is one of my favourites from the event–this was during the Italian entry in the festival.  I used a tripod (essential), cable release (also pretty much essential), ISO 200, 32 mm (due to the location of the seating area I found my 24-70mm lens was the ideal one to use–most of my images were taken in the 24-35 mm range.  I focused on the area where the fireworks were going to be fired from before it got too dark and then shifted over to manual focus.  I set the aperture at f11 and left it there.  This was a 4 second exposure.  I tried anywhere from 2-6 second exposures (even 8 seconds), but tended to prefer those around 4 seconds in duration.  Four seconds seems to be sufficent to allow the fireworks to explode without blowing out the highlights or cluttering up the scene with too many rockets.

I always set my lens a little wider than I would want, to allow cropping later on, and to minimise missing out on some of the displays.  After the first few firings, you can often gauge how high the fireworks will go and readjust as needed.  In general, once I was happy with my setup, I just settled back in my chair, and basically triggered my exposures fairly continuously through the display.  With most displays only lasting 20-30 minutes, there is no reason to not take as many images as you can.  I would literally trigger an exposure every 4-6 seconds–sometimes waiting until I heard a launch, othertimes just shooting and hoping for the best.  Using that technique, I was very happy with the number of “keepers” I ended up with.