3 tips for happy New Year fireworks shots
New Year is coming up and fireworks will go up everywhere. So before you whip out your camera to take shot, here are some tips so the skyflowers don’t become light squiggles on your display screen.
1) Find a stable ground.
Usually, a tripod is a must. I say usually, because I recently lost my tripod at the UP Lantern Parade and was forced to adjust on the spot. But if you have a sturdy one at home, bring it along. You want your shot to be as steady as possible, to minimize your camera’s shake. You want the light to streak beautifully.
If you don’t have a tripod, put it on the ground. You also want to be as low as possible, especially if you’re close from the fireworks’ source.
2) “F22, 10-15secs.”
When I shot with Joshua Dalupang for the first time, that was his first fireworks tip. You want a long exposure for your shot, so the fireworks don’t appear as small lines in the sky: you want them long, forming a bright boquet at night. Also, the small aperture gives you a deep focus for you image, important when there’s a good foreground from your vantage point.
Since it is going to be a long exposure, we recommend using a shutter release cord or hooking it up to your laptop with a software that can do the clicking for you. If you don’t have any of those, your camera’s timer is a friendly option.
If you are using a camera with no custom settings, try looking for the fireworks mode. It works!
Speaking of foreground:
3) Establish where you are with a foreground (or background).
In some occassions, you want to show where you’re shooting from. Or if you’re shooting from somewhere in Antipolo or elsewhere that’s very high, include some of the buildings in your shot. This way, your fireworks photo is not just a random burst in the sky.
Good foregrounds (or backgrounds) include notable landmarks. Try it out! If there’s a body of water or wet pavement in front of you, why not use it to take a reflection of the fireworks as well?
Here are some fireworks photos from Paul Quiambao,Martin San Diego, Joshua Dalupang, and me.
The examples here were taken mostly at school by campus photojournalists that I know. There are more good examples out there, and hopefully your fireworks photo will be a good one too.
To cap off, here’s a fireworks photo taken from a very high vantage point, shot by Frank of Amadeus Photography
Fireworks over Metro Manila pic.twitter.com/XKOSYo8Z6z
— Frank (@Amadeus_IOM) December 31, 2013
May your shots be as happy as the coming New Year!
-compiled by Ronin Bautista