Fireworks: Remember, Remember the 5th of November!

With an atmosphere full of suspense, waiting for the next rocket to be launched, there is always a few seconds of anticipation before a loud bang reverberates all the way through you, before bursts of bright light and colour begin to fill the night-sky creating bold patterns which cast reflections upon everything around as well as upon the faces of an expectant crowd. For many a fireworks display is a frightening event, but for others it is a moment of sheer excitement and one of those few moments in life when, for a few moments you forget about the hum-drum of our everyday lives.

fireworks, event, guy fawkes, public

As spectacular an event as a fireworks display is, and so thrilling to experience, trying to capture it in a photograph is a challenging but extremely rewarding task. Like all art forms, in photography there are many ways to achieve a similar outcome.  It is important not to just take someone’s opinion as gospel; you have to experiment and find what is best for you. My belief is that a photographer someone who paints with light. Our job is to channel that light in through our lenses, controlling and shaping it in order to create art.

When it comes to capturing fireworks I have a few tips:

  1. Make sure you arrive at the location with plenty of time to make sure you have the best possible spot where you can have an unobstructed view of the event.
  2. Turn off your flash!
  3. Switch off your automatic settings, be brave and go manual! Used in conjunction with a tripod you will be amazed with the results! Trust me you will fall in love with your camera even more when you use it in manual!
  4. Take your tripod!  The best way to capture fireworks, in my opinion is by using a long exposure time. So your tripod is an important piece of kit. The less movement of the camera, the clearer the image.
  5. Once the shot is set up do not look thought he viewfinder whilst you take the photograph, this will very likely cause movement of the camera, so if you have a remote then please use it.
  6. For great results keep your cameras shutter open so you can capture a whole burst. On my Nikon I can simply change my settings so that when I press the shutter button the shutter stays open until I let it go. Again to achieve the best results you will have to use your tripod.
  7. Every firework creates its own exposure, different types need to be treated slightly differently. So be prepared to make adjustments as the event progresses.
  8. Be creative look for clever and innovative ways to capture them, tripod heights and positions, capturing their reflections on water or glazed buildings etc. Most importantly have fun!!

Please do not be disheartened if your images don’t turn out the way you want them to. Capturing fireworks can be difficult so keep at it! A bad photograph should not be instantly dismissed. It can be used to find out what went wrong and used as a means to create a different strategy to capture a similar subject next time.

Photography is a process in which we are constantly learning; therefore it is a great exercise to keep some of your earliest images as a reference point for in years to come you can compare your work to them to measure how far you have come.

So make sure your battery pack is fully charged and you have a spare SD card and get out there and have some fun!

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Hope you enjoy all the fireworks tonight - just remember to wrap up, stay safe, and be very careful!

Thanks for Reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.