Are you ready for the New Year’s Fireworks Celebration? Whether you’re hitting one of the professional fireworks shows or you’re putting on your own show for the neighborhood, we have a few tips and tricks to help you photograph fireworks and capture the stroke of midnight.
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- A CAMERA. Any camera with manual mode will work.
- LENSES. A zoom lens will allow you to frame multiple shots without moving your gear. We recommend a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm depending on where you’ll be photographing from.
- A TRIPOD. You’ll be shooting long exposures, so make sure you have a sturdy tripod. Sandbags or weights on the legs can also help.
- REMOTE SHUTTER RELEASE. Use a remote release with bulb exposure control to allow you to control the length of time the shutter is open. A remote release also helps to minimize camera shake.
- MEMORY CARDS. Rule of thumb, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. Have extra cards whenever you’re out shooting.
- SPARE BATTERY. Long exposures can drain your battery quicker than normal. Don’t get caught without a spare.
- FLASHLIGHT. Be it digging through your bag, looking at your controls, or stopping people from kicking the legs of your tripod, a flashlight goes a long way. You can also use your phone.
- IMAGE FORMAT. Shoot in the highest format your camera allows. With RAW you’ll have more options in post-processing.
- NOISE REDUCTION. Turn off “Long Exposure Noise Reduction” if your camera allows for it.
- MANUAL MODE. Be sure to switch your camera to Manual so you will have complete control over your SETTINGS.
- WHITE BALANCE. If you’re shooting in RAW, you can set your white balance to Auto. If you’re shooting in JPEG, Daylight should work well in most cases.
- *ISO. Turn off Auto ISO. Set your ISO to your base level, typically 100. We recommend between 100-200 depending on where you are and what you want to include in your shot.
- *SHUTTER SPEED. We recommend somewhere between 1 and 4 seconds to start. Another option is to set your camera to Bulb and use your cable release to open and close the shutter.
- *APERTURE. We recommend somewhere between f/5.6 and f/13 to start.
*You’ll have to play around with your ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed to find the right combination for where you’re shooting and what’s in your frame, but try to keep the ISO as low as possible.