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fireworks photography .pdf



Original filename: fireworks-photography.pdf
Title: PowerPoint Presentation
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4 WAYS TO
SHOOT
FIREWORKS

HELLO!
My name is Buah Chi Ku, I share
the passion for photography by
giving free presentations. You can
find me @buahchiku

“Police arrested two kids yesterday,
one was drinking battery acid, the
other was eating fireworks. They
charged one and let the other one
off. “
- Tommy Cooper

WHAT YOU NEED

• A decent camera – DSLR or Mirrorless.
• Shooting with a sturdy tripod is highly
recommended.
• A remote trigger to reduce camera shake.
• Black card or piece of black paper – If you are
planning to use the black card method.

BEFORE THE SHOOT

• Do your homework and plan!
• Do not go in blind as a bat.
• When – Which date and what time are the fireworks
going off?
• Where – Which location, any off-limit areas? Where are
the vantage points?
• Prepare – Bring your food, drinks, extra batteries,
portable chairs, etc…

METHOD 1 - HANDHELD

• If you are absolutely new to photography – there is no shame shooting with
auto.
• Otherwise, use the manual mode.
• My usual settings – Wide aperture f/2.8 to f/5.6, decent ISO 400 – 1600.
• The key is to keep a decently fast shutter speed to prevent blur photos.
• Use the reciprocal rule as guideline. Minimum shutter speed should be
1/focal length.

METHOD 2 – BULB MODE
• Step 1 – Frame and compose. Deploy your tripod.
• Step 2 – Adjust the focus, then switch to manual focus mode. Do not shift
the camera anymore.
• Step 3 – Start with small aperture f/5.6 to f/8. Keep the ISO as low as
possible, then set the shutter speed to “bulb”.
• Step 4 – Take your test shot, keep the shutter open for about 3-5 secs. You
should ideally get a slightly under-exposed photo with the settings.
• Step 5 – Take the photos as fireworks go off. Review and readjust your
timing and settings if you must.

METHOD 3 – BLACK CARD
• Step 1 – Frame and compose. Deploy your tripod. Adjust the focus, then
switch to manual focus mode. Do not shift the camera anymore.
• Step 2 – Start with small aperture f/8 or more. Keep the ISO as low as
possible, then set the shutter speed to “bulb”.
• Step 3 – As the fireworks start, cover the lens with the black card and jam
the shutter open. Uncover the lens when you see fireworks that you like,
cover it once the fireworks disperse. Repeat this 3-5 times.
• Step 4 – Release the shutter and review your photo. Readjust your settings
if needed.


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