Don’t use an Automatic Setting for Fireworks Photography
If you are new to using an SLR camera then it can be very tempting to use the automatic settings. In everyday situations, a good SLR will give good pictures using the auto settings but even then, you are only using a fraction of the camera’s potential. However, if you are shooting fireworks photography or low-level light conditions then never use auto, no matter how tempting. You will not get very good results and keeping it on auto will mean you will be limited as a photographer.
In most situations, I prefer to use the manual mode on my DSLR or SLR and I also set the focus to manual as well. If you use auto-focus on low light conditions, such as photographing fireworks, then you may miss a lot of shots as the camera will struggle to find the focus point. Once you have got your position right and the focus then you probably won’t need to change it throughout the fireworks display, just click away and enjoy the show.
Don’t use a Flash
The very nature of photography is capturing light, but when you have a dark scene or low light levels it can be tempting to use a flash. However, as fireworks are set off in the dark you may be confused into thinking that you need a flash. By using a flash your camera may default to a shorter exposure time which you don’t want in this situation, and in most cases, a flash will only reach a few meters ahead. So, highlighting smoke or people in front of you, not the actual fireworks. The flashes of the light that are the fireworks will be enough light if on a long exposure and shutter speed and the impact of the lights of the fireworks on the dark night sky can make for amazing photos.
So, there are a few tips for how you can utilise fireworks photography this bonfire night, I hope you enjoy the night and get snapping.