Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 4, 2011

First Fireworks Try with the Rebel

Ever since I bought my first DSLR last summer (can you believe it has been almost a year already?), I’ve been wanting to try to take some fireworks pictures.  Since I bought it a week after July 4th last year, this weekend was my first opportunity.  I remembered that Scott did a blog post with some advice on how to take fireworks photos, which was great since I had no idea where to start.  I emailed Scott and he kindly found the link for me and invited me to ask questions if I had any – which I did!  I ended up purchasing a shutter release cable, and I am glad that I did. 

 I hadn’t been to a near-by town’s fireworks in many years, so I asked a few people for viewing and parking advice.  It turned out I couldn’t park exactly where was suggested, but we found a big open field which turned out to be a great spot for viewing.  My two daughters and older daughter’s boyfriend came along for the ride.  We had time to spare waiting for the show.  I tried to get a cute shot of three teenagers plugged in to their electronics while they waited:

 Waiting for the fireworks

I already had the camera on the tripod so I was trying to sneakily take the picture with no flash.  On “P” mode the camera selected a 13 sec. shutter speed, so I wasn’t so sneaky afterall!  I ended up with a ghostly vision of Meghan looking up from her iPod as if to say, “Really, Mother?”

Meghan was definitely in the spirit of the holiday though:
Patriotic toes

After the first firework went off, I did my best to position my camera for the part of the sky where the fireworks were coming up (over a stand of trees from our view) and focus for that general area.  I left the focus on manual so AF wasn’t trying to constantly adjust, set the shutter for Bulb and the aperture to f16, and connected my shutter release cable.  I remembered Scott saying to open the shutter when you hear the launching boom and hold it open for several seconds to catch several explosions.  I think I did most of mine at 3 to 5 seconds.  I couldn’t remember what Scott said to do when we got to the finale, so I ended up with WAY blown out shots when I tried.  I think my reaction time, thought process and instincts are still a little slow in the world of DSLR’s but I am mostly happy with my results for the Rebel’s first try at fireworks.  Here’s a little slide show of 16 (out of 138!) of my favorites:

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Happy Independence Day everyone!