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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberTue 19-Jun-12 03:00 AM
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"Fireworks Tips and Tricks -- Let's share -- 2013"
Sun 29-Jun-14 10:58 AM by briantilley

San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Edit Note: This discussion thread was started two years ago, and is full of great advice and example photos. As it's now getting a bit long, a new thread has been created to continue the topic: Fireworks Tips and Tricks -- Lets Share -- 2014


It is time to start preparing for summertime fireworks.

Many of our members will have the opportunity to take their Nikon's out for a challenging shoot in a few weeks.

Our Canadian members have Canada Day, in the USA they will celebrate Independence Day, and in France the big event is Bastille Day.

Every year around this time we refer back to an article that was first posted nine years ago by Lyle Stavast. That is the starting point, and we now have new members with new tips and tricks to share.

I invite those members with excellent examples of fireworks shooting to post them here-- and further, to describe the proper shooting methods you used to make your incredible images.

The invitation is out -- now-- Let's share the goods my friends!

Here is one of mine:



Nikon D2X on Manual exposure mode, Matrix Metering, 35-70mm f/2.8D AF @ 35mm, f/3.5, 1/50s, ISO 400, handheld (impossible to use a tripod in that crowd, even when we were there 3 hours before the event.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

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ponger Registered since 01st Aug 2009Tue 19-Jun-12 12:08 PM
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#1. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 19-Jun-12 12:56 PM by ponger

Brooksville, US
          




Taken at the local fall fireworks display at the high school. Time delay of two seconds. When the mortar fired, the shutter was triggered and two seconds latter the shutter opened. Since I didn't have a remote trigger, I wanted some way to not have my hands on the camera when the shutter fired so I used this technique. If the end of the burst was desired, I'd wait a couple of seconds after hearing the mortar fire and then trigger the shutter. That way less of the "tail" was seen and more of the "flower" was captured like the shot below.

This procedure is nice for slow displays but a four second exposure captures a lot of light so if the bursts are rapid, they can easily swamp the exposure.

Both were taken on a D300 in manual mode with a tripod. 35mm set @ f16. Four second exposure.




Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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olivierrychner Gold Member  Awarded for his long standing high level of commitment to the Nikonians community and demonstrated excellence in the art and science of photography. Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2005Tue 19-Jun-12 12:28 PM
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#2. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Boudry, CH
          

Oh yes, that time of year again!

In Switzerland, it's August 1 or some local events such as the Wine Harvest Festival here in Neuchâtel (last September weekend):



August 1, 2009:



Just go ahead and share!

Cheerio,

Olivier Rychner
__________________________________________
Jetez un oeil à ma galerie if you feel like it! And it's a bit void as of now, but I also have a Nikonians blog

Auta i lomë! And my Nikon's only awaiting daylight...

  

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sharplady Registered since 22nd May 2008Tue 19-Jun-12 02:10 PM
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#3. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Union City, US
          

Here is one of my fireworks images from 2011. My tip is that when you are taking fireworks photos where the scene includes buildings that are important to the image, the exposure and focus must be coordinated to get the lighting on the buildings as well as the fireworks. This image was taken with D300S, lens at 80mm. Exposure of 1 second, F10 and ISO 200. Taken from New Jersey view.


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pilotonemx Registered since 19th Jun 2012Tue 19-Jun-12 08:33 PM
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#5. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 3
Tue 19-Jun-12 08:34 PM by pilotonemx

MX
          

there are many issues about shoot fireworks, so in my duty as a Event Planner photography I learn some tricks that I share.

Many of actual cameras have a Noise reduction option that works more often in dark situations. so the problem is when you shoot between shoot the NR delay the availability to take another click...and fireworks don't wait until you ready!!

I shut off the NR option and get the chance to shoot again and again without wait the NR process done, by the situation the pics are not too long exposure to affect with many noise, I can shoot more fireworks instead only few ones...even in raw mode.

Another simply trick is this... to take only the explosion and don't like the trail from ground, set your camera at 15" or the maximum of 30" seconds exposure, previously, cut a black circle (more big of the diameter of your lens) thick piece of paper, be prepare when the show will come and put the black piece in front of you lens, see the first fireworks to fly and make click, and when you see the firework reach the maximum altitude retire your cover of the lens, wait some 2 seconds and cover again, see another explosion, and retire again, and successively until you camera will close, if the fireworks are too long you can short the interval to 15", 10" or 5" or less and make the same operation...and you get more shoots so.

You get a lot a great fireworks in their best moments...without trails

Some another tricks to get a successfully fireworks are:

1. Check the location if you know when be a fireworks event, colocate in best position with some buildings or trees, or across the river or lagoon to take some grace reflections on water.

2. Check the wind direction near the moment of the show, the direction and speed determine the exact place where the explosions be.

3. The first 2 minutes of a large fireworks show are the best cause the fog are very little formed, after some time in large fireworks shows the fog will disperse the light in no nice way...unless there is wind to clean the atmosphere, maybe you need to quick adjust the ISO to reduce light dispersion.

4. Check your angle to respect the fireworks, if you get to close, you get only explosions and no nice background, if you too far, the fireworks appear diminute and don get a great detail, mine apreciation is to have a 35 to 60 degrees range from ground to altitude where the explosion be, you get a great background and detail of the show, depends of the nature of the show, distances vary between 300 to 500 meters (328 to 546 yardas) from site of the departure of rockets.

5. Whenever possible use tripod, if not, use you bag, bagpack or sit on ground firmly holding your camera...in this case expositions no get longer that 2" unless you have a rock solid touch you get some blur shoots, without tripod, less exposure time.

6. The maximum altitude of the fireworks reach are between 500 to 1,000 meters (1,640 to 3,200 ft) due Aeronautical regulations, try to get the best angle to get in range your shoots

7. Before the show, check you AF points, I use One AF dynamic point and maybe move during the show, so I try to get a reference point like a top of building, lock it and change to manual, the shoot only be fixed at that position and orientation (landscape or portrait) if like some another point of view, I put another camera.

I expect you will have a great fireworks shoots!

  

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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Tue 19-Jun-12 08:08 PM
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#4. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Torrington, US
          

Talcott Mountain Music Festival, Simsbury, CT. July 1st 2011. f11 at 8 secs with ISO 320 on the tripod (of course) and my Tamron 17-55 f2.8 wide at 17mm.


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jbk224 Gold Member Nikonian since 20th Nov 2006Sun 15-Jul-12 05:36 PM
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#87. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 4


Floral Park, US
          

Merci!
Jon

Now known as Poppyrazzi for our family---sweet!

  

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jbk224 Gold Member Nikonian since 20th Nov 2006Sun 15-Jul-12 05:36 PM
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#88. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 4


Floral Park, US
          

Merci!
Jon

Now known as Poppyrazzi for our family---sweet!

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Tue 19-Jun-12 08:49 PM
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#6. "My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 19-Jun-12 08:54 PM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

I can't lie... I'm like a little boy when I view fireworks - something I'm very passionate about and love to photograph!

Here in Montréal, we're pretty lucky, with the Montreal International Fireworks Competition staged every year on St Helens Island on the St Lawrence River facing the city. It runs for nine nights from June to August, with 7 dates in July! Countries competing this year include Greece, Japan, Switzerland, the United States and more. For the pyrotechnics aficianados who want to come North and take it in, more info here:

http://www.internationaldesfeuxloto-quebec.com/en/programmation/calendrier.aspx


Below are my tips for shooting fireworks. (I've attached a PDF below for your to take along and practice with.)


Fireworks are bright, almost as intense as an afternoon sun, so your aperture should be set as if shooting during the day. The exception will be what you do with your shutter speed. Here are some basic settings:

Auto focus – OFF! Focus your lens at infinity and leave it there... its one less variable to think about! Besides, firework displays are usually (I hope!) more than 100 feet away from you, so even with a telephoto lens, focus is not an issue.

ISO 100/200 – Depending upon your camera model, set it to the lowest ISO setting. This is the optimum setting for best quality to reduce digital noise. This will also lessen the chance of overexposing the sensor.

Aperture - On average start with f/11. If the light looks weak and faint, OPEN the aperture to f/8. If it's bright with lots of fireworks exploding, close down to f/16 or f/22.

Shutter speed – set your camera to MANUAL MODE, then set your shutter speed to BULB for manual shutter control. Plug in a shutter release cable or manual remote control (wireless remote for some models).

When the fireworks start, trip the shutter and count out loud - "one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three" and so on... s-l-o-w-l-y, so that you achieve 2 seconds exposures for a full burst, or from 4 to 6 seconds if you are shooting with a wide angle lens and wish to fill the frame, or to capture more background details.

Watch the show and practice this technique so you get the rhythm right. Avoid using your camera’s fixed shutter speeds. If you do, you will be trying to manually change your shutter speed on the fly... in the dark... with all the explosions going off! You will find this method to be very time consuming... and frustrating!

White Balance – set to Daylight/Sunny mode or 5400 degrees Kelvin (the Sun icon on your LCD display). If you want a sky that is more blue (to correct for light pollution), with city lights a more realistic colour, select the “Incandescent” mode. I have found, however, that the sunny setting is the best for rich and consistent colours. If you use Auto White, the colour rendition may change from image to image, without any consistency. Sunny is the way to go. Did I say SUNNY enough times?

Highlights - Turn on the “highlights” setting. On some Nikon cameras, this is achieved by going to the Playback menu (the “arrow” symbol), then select "Display mode." Click on "highlight," then go to “done” with the cursor, or press “enter” or OK. On other cameras,
the “highlights” feature may be found by pressing the DISP (display) button, which scrolls through different menus displaying the histogram, shutter speed, aperture and more. Check your camera manual or menu for more details.

Upon reviewing your images, scroll through the data screens on the your monitor (with the DISP button or selector button) until a little symbol flashes indicating it will show bright spots as flashing light. Some people call these the “blinkies” which say “I’m too hot! I’m too hot!” This important feature indicates if you have overexposed an image. On some Nikon cameras, this setting is indicated by a small flashing icon marked “RGB.”

OK, now all you need to do is zoom in and compose your image. Of course during a 15 to 30 minute show, you will see small bursts and big ones, so your composition may need to be adjusted from shot to shot. From where you are positioned, when the show starts, set your zoom at one setting, take a few shots, then review your images quickly.

1. First check - are there any highlights flashing?

NO... then your exposure is OK. Expect some flashing at the nucleus or center of the burst - this is normal as it’s the brightest point in an explosion.

YES - you are overexposing and will have to close down your aperture (to f/11, f/16, f/22 or points in between). You may also have to shorten your shutter speed too. It is a combination of both. The aperture controls the amount of light, the shutter – the duration of the exposure.

2. If you photographed a burst and it was mainly red, or blue or green etc - are you seeing this correctly displayed on the replay on your cams’s LCD monitor?

If YES - your exposure is correct!

If NO - and you are seeing mostly white, the colours are overlapping, though you may not have blown out the highlights. You will have to close down the aperture again to f/11, f/16 etc, or reduce your shutter speed.

3. The explosions are happening fast and furious, and all you are seeing are images that are white! white! white!

Question : What colour do you get when you combine red, blue and green? You get - white!

The only way to capture these colours, especially as the climax or finale of the show reaches a crescendo, is to set your aperture at f/22 and shoot for 1 second or LESS. The fireworks at this point are overlapping and your very sensitive sensor, is recording this by combining all the colours to give you... white.

Finally, achieving good fireworks photography takes patience and practice. Don't go to a show with the intent of taking 200 images, because you will end up with probably one lucky shot, and 199 that are either poor or average. Less is more!

Watch the display, and pay attention to how bright the light is. This is crucial! If the explosions are bright, close down your aperture... if weak... open up. One hand on the camera controlling your aperture, the other hand on your remote control, opening and closing your shutter.

From experience, most of my successful images were taken between f/11 and f/22 for an average of 1 to 4 seconds each. During the shows climax when perhaps hundreds of rockets are filling the sky, much shorter exposure times will be required, to 1/4 second or less! With your remote control (or shutter release cable) that means push, release; push release in a steady rhythm.

Don't forget to periodically review your images with the histogram to verify your exposures.

If your camera’s histogram has an RGB setting, display all three color channels to make sure you are not overexposing any of them, especially the RED channel which usually clips first (by climbing “the wall” on the right side of the display).

Perhaps you will end up photographing only 60 or 70 images (an average of 2 or 3 per minute in a 30 minute show), however your chances of achieving say 10 or more really good images, or “keepers”... will be much better than if you had shot "hundreds."

**************************************



I've had the good fortune to shoot fireworks in cities around the world, including Sydney (Australia), Boston, New York, Washington, Nice (France) and this July - Bastille Day in France on July 14th.

Here are some of my favourites...



Independence Day in Boston #1
Location: Harvard St Bridge (closed to traffic!)
Exposure: f/22 @ 1.7 sec ISO 200
Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-70 @ 56mm



Independence Day in Boston #2
Location: Harvard St Bridge
Exposure: f/16 @ 2.8 sec ISO 400
Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-70 @ 56mm



Independence Day in Washington
Location: Arlington Memorial, near the Citadel, Virginia
Exposure: f/11 @ 1.6 sec ISO 320
Nikon D200, Nikkor 80-200 @ 130mm



Independence Day in New York
Location: Chart House Restaurant, Harbour Road, Hoboken, NJ
Exposure: f/11 @ 3.5 sec ISO 200
Nikon D700, Nikkor 20-35mm @ 20mm




Montreal International Fireworks
Location: Bike Path next to St Lawrence River,
at 861 rue Pierre Dupuy, Longueuil, QC
Exposure: f/22 @ 5 sec ISO 400
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-200mm @ 130mm


Tips and Techniques for shooting fireworks

http://www.nikonians.org/dcfp/user_files/225416.pdf


Hope this helps! Happy shooting!

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca








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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Tue 19-Jun-12 08:58 PM
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#7. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 6


Torrington, US
          

Wow, beautiful shots and great tips! I'm going to try them this year. And thanks for the pdf. Will come in very handy.
John

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Wed 20-Jun-12 02:07 PM
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#8. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 7
Wed 20-Jun-12 02:34 PM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

Thanks for the compliments John - much appreciated

Don't forget to photograph the amusing people and things that happen around you. If your children are with you, have them stand still while spinning some light sticks for some great effects.

The kids will love them!

Last note, don't be shy to zoom in to the point in the sky where the bursts are greatest for best impact - to create some colourful abstracts. These make for great backgrounds for party card invitations and more.

In all the posted photos, a tripod and shutter release cable was used.




Getting a scoup
Location: Parking lot facing St Helens Island, Longueuil, QC
Exposure: f/5.6 @ 1/2 sec, ISO 1600
Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-70 @ 56mm




Spinning wheels
Location: Canada Day celebrations, Millenium Park, Dorval, QC
Exposure: f/8 @ 1/8 sec, ISO 1600
Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-70 @ 31mm




Blue burst abstract
Location: Montreal International Fireworks Competition
Parking lot facing St Helens Island, Longueuil, QC
Exposure: f/11 @ 1/2 sec, ISO 200
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-200 @ 200mm


Cheers!
Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

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Kitiara121 Registered since 11th Nov 2011Sun 24-Jun-12 11:23 AM
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#17. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 6


US
          

Thank you Frederic!

I am here to learn.

Candy

Visit my Nikonians gallery One A Day Challenge.

  

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MikeW2ck Silver Member Charter MemberTue 26-Jun-12 07:06 AM
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#18. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 17


US
          

Some wonderful shots in this thread! I think most would agree it's very motivational.

Any different advice for 35mm shooting? I just picked up an 18mm 2.8 too.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Tue 26-Jun-12 11:08 AM
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#19. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 18


Montreal, CA
          

Any different advice for 35mm shooting?


Long before I started shooting fireworks in digital starting in 2007, I captured these wonderful shows on film - using Fuji Provia 100F- 100 ASA slide film.

Digital is slightly more luminous than film, however the exposure settings are about the same. The key as I outlined above and the PDF, is to close down the aperture to f/11 to f/22 when there are a lot of bursts going on simultaneous, and to shorten your shutter speed to about 1 second or less.

If you visit my website and click on "Dragons and Fireflies," you will see photos taking at the Nice Carnaval (2004) and the Australian New Year's Eve fireworks (2001) plus a few others - taken exclusively on film.

You will have less keepers - maybe 5 to 10 really good ones if you're lucky, as you cannot review and adjust your exposures like you can on digital. Provia, which is daylight balanced, is excellent for night photography. I find it gives a nice rendition of office tower lighting, which tends to have green cast on other slide films and digital. Something about the emulsion formulation by Fuji.

You could use colour negative, which will give you more exposure latitude, then scan it into your favourite image programming for further adjustments.

Hope this helps.

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Tue 26-Jun-12 07:32 PM
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#22. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 6


Seattle, WA, US
          

Excellent set of notes from Frederic! Saves me from all that typing.



D200, 70-200mm @ 200, ISO 100, shutter speed = bulb.
Tripod mounted, wired remote trigger.
Daylight white-balance, no noise reduction in camera.
Exposure tested at f/11 to get the Space Needle correct (~5 secs).
Aperture adjusted to get the exposure right for the fireworks (f/13).

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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jsphotonc Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Nov 2009Thu 05-Jul-12 04:39 PM
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#45. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 6


Durham, US
          

Fred:

Thanks for taking the time to give us your great tips. Last night was my first attempt at photographing fireworks, and I'm reasonably pleased with the results. The basic techniques you outlined work really well; next year I will need to focus more on location and composition.

Here's one of my photos from last night at Penn State University. Nikon D700, Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8, 32 mm, f/18, 1.5 secs, ISO 200.

Regards,

-John S.




Please visit my photo gallery.

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Thu 05-Jul-12 04:52 PM
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#46. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 45


US
          

By the way folks, July Fouth is over, but fireworks season isn't.

You can find them at the obvious places, like Disneyland/World and other big amusement parks. Also look closer to home. Our local minor league ball team has some Saturday night games with fireworks. Race tracks, county fairs, and other events also do them on a regular basis. Great way to practice and develop your skills.

Seattle had great weather for the show last night, it was very nice. Since it was a clear night, I had enough ambient light to get this shot as a single exposure. Nikon D800, ISO 100, 3 sec at f11




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MikeW2ck Silver Member Charter MemberThu 05-Jul-12 06:56 PM
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#47. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 46
Thu 05-Jul-12 06:57 PM by MikeW2ck

US
          

>By the way folks, July Fouth is over, but fireworks season
>isn't.


Maybe not if you live in a big city. I posted a question and got excited from reading all of the great tips only to realize our "fireworks season" was over before it started. Many small towns have no fireworks anymore due to budget constraints.

Oh well, the photos posted here are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Fri 06-Jul-12 02:27 AM
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#53. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 46


Montreal, CA
          

Hey Robert - really nicely accomplished. Love the latent colour in the sky from the sunset. And the reflections are just awesome!

You're right about this being fireworks season... just can't get enough!

Did you do any composites this time? Post some more will ya?

Cheers,
Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Fri 06-Jul-12 09:14 PM
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#56. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 53


US
          

> really nicely accomplished. Love the latent
>colour in the sky from the sunset. And the
> reflections are just awesome!

Thank you. That's my favorite of the evening for several reasons. The sunset light is really nice, as you mentioned, and also the smoke blows south most years, making this location a poor one in that regard. But if you want the reflections (I do) then you live with it.


>Did you do any composites this time? Post some more will ya?

This location isn't conducive to composites, which makes it more of a challenge. The boats are an important part of the scene. Without them and the reflections around them, you don't have the shot.

If you tried to do a composite, the boats would be in a different location, so it wouldn't be clean.

Different techniques for different situations I guess.











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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Fri 06-Jul-12 02:23 AM
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#52. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 45


Montreal, CA
          

Sweet! Well done! Love it

Glad you found my tutorial helpful. Now come north to shoot even more!!!

Cheers,
Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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DaveSoderlund Silver Member Nikonian since 29th May 2010Fri 06-Jul-12 01:46 AM
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#49. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 6


Geneva, US
          

Frederic,

Thank you for the great tutorial! I decided to put your advice to work, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I posted a few pictures in another forum:

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=175&topic_id=91813&mesg_id=91813&page=

Thanks to you I'll be more confident about fireworks photography in the future.

Dave

http://davidmsoderlund.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidsoderlund/

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Fri 06-Jul-12 02:19 AM
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#51. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 49
Fri 06-Jul-12 02:21 AM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

Hello Dave... glad I could be of assistance.

I took a look at your posted photos - you have some superb results
Lovely colours including the hard to achieve blue bursts.

I see you now have the "bug!" You gotta come north to Montreal to shoot some more! We have fireworks competitions every weekend till August, then others in Quebec City also in August.

More here:

http://www.internationaldesfeuxloto-quebec.com/en/programmation/calendrier.aspx

Have fun!

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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DaddySS Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Dec 2006Thu 27-Jun-13 12:44 PM
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#89. "RE: My Fireworks Tips and Tricks for 2012"
In response to Reply # 6


Woodcliff Lake NJ, & Jacksonvi, US
          

Thanks for the great tips, guides, and info. Much appreciated and merci bien!

Richard

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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scopeland Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Apr 2009Wed 20-Jun-12 02:29 PM
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#9. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Rochester, US
          

I suspect this question may be answers on both sides, but I'm curious to know if people use the in camera "long exposure noise reduction" feature. I do understand that it doubles the time required to capture an image, but I also appreciate that it addresses noise in a way that is not possible after the fact in post-processing because it is essenially "masking out noise" (my term) using the information about noisy pixels gathered during the 2nd dark exposure.

So do the advantages of this approach to dealing with noise outweigh the potential missed shots in terms of final image quality?

Steve

Visit my Main site or my Sports site

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Wed 20-Jun-12 02:59 PM
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#10. "Use noise reduction on fireworks"
In response to Reply # 9
Wed 20-Jun-12 03:02 PM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

Hi Steve,

If you shoot in RAW mode and keep your ISO low, in camera noise reduction is not necessary. And as you say, it will add a delay to taking your next shot, possibly during a crucial moment, which will make you wanna pull out your hair!

Most Nikon DSLR's that have been released in the last few years, including the D3100, D5100, D7000, D90, D200, D300, D700 produce good to excellent results to ISO 800, and with the higher end cameras, to ISO 1600.

If you are making a large print of say 20x24, you can use the NR reduction in Photoshop CS4 and CS5, and also in Photoshop Elements 8, 9, and 10 right in the RAW converter. The noise reduction settings are found under the Detail icon.

I've attached a cropped screen save from CS4 Camera RAW to indicate where.





DETAIL setting in CS4 and PS Elements RAW converter for Noise Reduction
Enlarge your image to 100% to view the results and changes
(right click on your mouse anywhere in the image-select 100%)



Hope this helps.

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca


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rosalinda Silver Member Charter MemberThu 21-Jun-12 12:21 AM
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#11. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Washington, US
          

Fantastic photos and great tips, Frederic! I read similar tips here on Nikonians and have used them in previous years. Maybe they were yours? You are fortunate to live in Montreal. I have heard of the fireworks competition there and would love to see some of the displays. This year I will also be in Paris for Bastille Day. Do you know a good vantage point for photographing the fireworks there?

Great photos, everyone who has posted. Cannot seem to post one of mine here tonight.

Marie

  

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gbowen Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Apr 2011Fri 22-Jun-12 03:32 PM
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#12. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Canton, US
          

What is the best way to handle condensation? I tried to shoot during the 4th of July fireworks last year, and my camera and lens were quite damp by the end of the show. So much so that I had to remove the filter I had on the lens because it fogged so badly that it looked like I was shooting during a heavy fog. It was a nice clear evening, though I don't recall if it was overly humid or not. I had set up long before the show started, so my camera and lens had time to acclimate.

I'm going to shoot this year again, so I could use some advice. Thanks.

George

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Fri 22-Jun-12 06:35 PM
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#13. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 12
Fri 22-Jun-12 06:38 PM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

"What is the best way to handle condensation? I tried to shoot during the 4th of July fireworks last year, and my camera and lens were quite damp by the end of the show."


Usually condensation on a camera occurs when you go from a cold environment to a warm and moist one. In winter, this happens when you have photographed in extreme cold, then go indoors to the warm interior of a building.

In summer the reverse is true - if you take your camera from a cool and dry air-conditioned environment, such as your home or car, then walk outside to a hot and humid atmosphere, you will get condensation.

The solution in both cases is to keep your cam inside a sealed camera case (or sealed plastic bag) and let it slowly acclimatize to the change in environment - usually about two hours. If the humidity is near 100 percent, such as in fog, its best to keep a clean dry cloth handy to wipe the camera down.

If you live in a tropical environment (like Florida), perhaps pack a couple of desiccant sacks to absorb the humidity. You will usually find these packed with electronic gear you buy, such as stereos and flat screen tv's.

If you've tossed them out, you can buy desiccant sacks here:

http://www.uline.ca/Grp_21/Desiccants?pricode=DC159&gclid=CLPn7J_k5q8CFUFo4AodzzTP2A


Another way to protect your cam from the elements, is to shoot with a rain cover. Think Tank makes some nice ones, but they are very pricey.

I personally use very large, clear, heavy-duty zip lock freezer bags. I cut a hole in the bottom of the bag the size of the largest lens filter, then adhere it onto the lens with black electrical tape. I cut a second hole in the bag where the camera attaches to my ballhead's quick release clamp, taping the edges to the cam's body. The open end is where I put my hands in to operate the controls. Works like a charm!

Here are a couple of photos with more detail.






Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

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gbowen Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Apr 2011Fri 22-Jun-12 08:27 PM
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#14. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 13


Canton, US
          


>
>I personally use very large, clear, heavy-duty zip lock
>freezer bags. I cut a hole in the bottom of the bag the size
>of the largest lens filter, then adhere it onto the lens with
>black electrical tape. I cut a second hole in the bag where
>the camera attaches to my ballhead's quick release clamp,
>taping the edges to the cam's body. The open end is where I
>put my hands in to operate the controls. Works like a charm!

Great idea! I will try that this year. And maybe a smaller bag to fit over the front of the lens when not shooting to keep the filter clear. Just pull off, shoot, and replace as needed.

Thanks for the tip!

George

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Fri 22-Jun-12 08:45 PM
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#15. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 14


Montreal, CA
          

And maybe a smaller bag to fit over the front of the lens when not shooting to keep the filter clear. Just pull off, shoot, and replace as needed.

One of those hotel plastic shower caps with the elastic band around it, make a great temporary cover. Or crumple the plastic and shoot through it, then watch the special effects it will create!

Cheers,

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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gbowen Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Apr 2011Fri 22-Jun-12 10:04 PM
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#16. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 15


Canton, US
          

You're just brim full of ideas! Really good. Thanks!

George

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Tue 26-Jun-12 01:12 PM
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#20. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 16
Tue 26-Jun-12 01:13 PM by bobpilot

Washington, US
          

With the ISO set to 100 I metered the boat at 5 seconds, so that was my limit. With the camera in Bulb, I held a cloth in front of the lens and removed it for for each plumb for a short time and had it off for now more than five seconds.

I had a lot of overexposed and underexposed images, so my technique has some flaws.








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Spiffy_Photo Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jul 2009Tue 26-Jun-12 03:25 PM
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#21. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Here are my basic settings

Manual Focus - Infinity
ISO: 400
Aperture: f/11
Shutter: BULB
Tripod
Shutter release cord.

When firework launches wait a second for it to raise and then open shutter (too avoid fuse trails). If you see more shells in a different part of the frame leave the shutter open otherwise close it.

When composing the photo it is best to have MORE in the frame that just fireworks. A great photo is rare.


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srbrsn11 Gold Member Nikonian since 19th Nov 2009Tue 26-Jun-12 08:35 PM
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#23. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Birmingham, US
          

Has anyone used a 'Strike Finder' for shooting fireworks?

Steve

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Wed 27-Jun-12 12:34 AM
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#24. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 23


US
          

>Has anyone used a 'Strike Finder' for shooting fireworks?
>
>Steve

I haven't, but I don't think you really need one either. Fireworks happen pretty slowly when compared to lightning.

I trigger my exposure based on one of two factors, sight or sound, whichever works best for my location relative to the display I'm shooting.

Sound works great, if you're close enough. When you here the "Whumph" sound of a shot being fired, open the shutter. For aerial shells, the time it takes to climb into the sky gives you plenty of time to react.

If you're too far for sound, then go by sight. Look trails of the shells launching into the sky. After the first few shots, you'll know where they launch from. When you see a trail, open the shutter. Even if you miss a bit of the burst, your shot will probably still work fine.

  

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Wed 27-Jun-12 12:54 AM
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#25. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 24


US
          

I've never had much luck in getting an exposure where both the fireworks and the foreground are well exposed. If you expose for the foreground, then the firworks will typically be blown out. Theoretically, you could start your exposure before the shell goes up, and then have it be the last few seconds of the exposure. But I'm neither that good or that lucky...

So I resort to the "composite" or "double exposure" method. What's that? I combine two photos, taken with a tripod, for the final image. I then blend the images in Photoshop using layer masks.





Is this approach "cheating"? I suppose some folks would say it is. I argue that it's a more realistic representation of what you actually see. Seattle isn't a small town, and it's not pitch black at night. Here's a single exposure of the same scene, note how dark the city looks. Also note that the fireworks are a bit over-exposed.



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srbrsn11 Gold Member Nikonian since 19th Nov 2009Wed 27-Jun-12 01:02 AM
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#26. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 25


Birmingham, US
          

Great photo's. I'll give that a try. Thanks for your help.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Wed 27-Jun-12 01:03 AM
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#29. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 25
Wed 27-Jun-12 01:06 AM by Rharbison

US
          

If you don't want to do the composite approach, I suggest using silhouettes to add interest to the shot. I like to incorporate water as well, since it reflects the fireworks. Fortunately, they often hold displays on the water and it attracts lots of boats. The results can work well.

The above tips for timing and exposure work well, it's pretty much a guessing game, as the intensity from shot to shot varies. During the grand finale, shorten up your exposures, since they're often quite bright.



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PeteG Registered since 07th Jun 2008Wed 27-Jun-12 05:41 AM
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#30. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 29


US
          

Wow, some really great advice!

Here's one I recently captured at the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Celebration:








D700
24-70mm
5 sec @ f/8; ISO 100;
Noise Reduction off

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Sun 01-Jul-12 02:31 AM
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#33. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 25


Montreal, CA
          

I really like your composite approach Bob - nicely done, especially in the third photo. I was in Seattle many years ago... looks like I will have to visit again... during Independance Day!

Cheers
Frederic in Montréal

  

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meohman1 Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Jan 2007Thu 28-Jun-12 12:45 AM
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#31. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Luling, US
          

Here's another shot of Magic Kingdom fireworks - I took this in May of 2010.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens @ f/5.6 and 40mm
15 sec. exposure to get this effect.

Mike

Photography by Mike - My Nikonians Gallery


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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Sun 01-Jul-12 02:27 AM
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#32. "Processing your Fireworks Images in PS"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 01-Jul-12 04:57 AM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

Last Sunday (June 24th) was St Jean-Baptiste Day, a big holiday in my home province of Quebec. In Dorval, a suburb of Montreal, festivities were capped by a 20 minute fireworks show - my first chance to shoot one in 2012. To include the assembled crowd into the image, I setup my cam well back, installed on a tripod about 9 ft above ground level, on the rear stairs of a small stage.


From my experience using Photoshop for 10 years, shooting digitally for more than six years, and after much experimentation - here are my tips and techniques for processing fireworks images. I have found - at least for myself, the following steps produce the best results, especially if the images are a bit "hot" or overexposed.

If you have images that are great compositions but look washed out or a bit overexposed, perhaps try these steps... you might be surprised at what you will recover!


Image 1 - Here is the original RAW file as it appears in PS Camera RAW.





Image 2 - Adjusting the Exposure




Step 1 - After considerable practice, the first thing I will do is either raise or lower the Exposure by moving the slider to the left or right, just enough to make it correct to my eye, though not too dark that I loose all the detail in foreground.

In the photo above, I purposely raised the Exposure to get more of the foreground. It's causing the histogram to clip a bit - we will fix that shortly.

Step 2 - Next, if you have an image that is too bright, use the Recovery slider and move it to the right about half way. Anymore then that and it starts to alter the histogram too much for my liking, chopping the highlights. The latter part of the slider has almost no effect.

In this image, I did not need to use use the Recovery setting

Step 3 - This image needed a bit more brightness after changing the exposure, I adjusted the Brightness slider which affects mostly the mid tone areas, from the default setting of +50 to 78

Step 4 - Adjusted the Fill light slider to the right to bring light back to the shadow areas where the crowd is, but not too much that I would create noise or wash out the image.
(Note: with a D700 and this exposure at ISO 400 - noise is not a problem)

Step 5 - Boosted the Clarity to the right to add more definition and "snap" to the image. To see the effect, enlarge your image to 100%, then press the letter P several times (the Preview), which will toggle between a before and after state to show your changes, including all any other adjustments you have made.


Image 3 - Using the Graduated Neutral Density Filter




In PS CS4 and later editions, various adjustment brushes and filters were added in Camera RAW. One that I really like, is the Graduated Neutral Density filter. You can use it to darken or lighten skies, or as seen in this photo, bring up light in the lower portion of the image.

Step 1 - Select the filter from the Tool Bar, then click and drag from the bottom of the photo as seen here, up to the stop point, in this case just below where the barge is. The Green line indicates where the effect starts, the Red line, where it stops.

Step 2 - Adjust the exposure and brightness sliders for the desired result. Here I tweaked the settings just a bit.

(NOTE: These brushes are not available in PS Elements)


Image 4 - Correcting Clipping with the Tone Control




One feature added back in CS3, was the Tone Control. Selecting it reveals two tabs, Parametric and Point. I rarely use parametric, which works something like Curves, and instead go direct to Point as seen above.

Clicking and dragging down on the top right square of the histogram, will pull back your bright areas to achieve a proper exposure. Keep pulling down until you see that the Clipping indicator triangle in the histogram has turned black.

With the change in settings, we have a noticeable yellowing of the sky, like light pollution. That will be corrected next. When you are satisfied with your initial adjustment, click on Open Image.
(This will preserve your settings in the XMP file)


Image 5 and 6 - Colour Balance adjustments






In both screen saves above, I used the Colour Balance setting (Image->Adjustments->Colour Balance) to remove some of the yellow cast in the image. The default is Midtones, which I started with first, moving the third slider: Yellow-Blue toward blue, then added a bit of Cyan on the Cyan-Red slider.

Next, under Tone Balance, click on the Shadows button, and repeat the same steps, adjusting the shadow areas until the yellow cast is minimized. A slight blue cast will make the sky look much better!

As you are adjusting mostly the Shadows, it will have minimal effect on the brighter and denser colours of the fireworks themselves.

Click OK to accept the changes.


Image 7 - Sharpening your image




For Nikonians who are unsure about sharpening their images, I use Unsharp Mask for my fireworks images for more control (For CS users: Filter->Sharpen->Unsharp Mask; for Photoshop Elements: Enhance->Unsharp Mask)

After slight cropping from the bottom, then resizing this image to 800 pixels (height) with a resolution of 72ppi for posting here, I sharpened the image as seen in the panel above. I've included this last step as people frequently ask what settings I use.

If this was to be printed (example 8x12 @ 300ppi), then the Radius would be set to between 1.0 to 1.2 with the Amount slider adjusted for best sharpness without halos or artifacts appearing.


Image 8 - The Final Result




Celebrating St Jean Baptiste Day
Location: Millenium Park, Dorval, QC, Canada
Exposure: 6 sec @ f/10, ISO 400, RAW mode
Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 AFS @ 50mm


Here's the finished photo after adding a 4 pixel border (Image->Canvas Size).

To view a New York fireworks pic much "hotter" than the one above that was processed with CS 3, browse this post on Nikonians from 2010 for additional tips.

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=190&topic_id=68507#68821



There are many ways to accomplish the same result in Photoshop. Bob Harbison's technique of using composites to stack photos is one great way! I haven't tried an HDR effect yet - that's my next challenge!

I look forward to hearing what other image processing methods are popular with Nikonians.


Cheers,
Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Wed 04-Jul-12 07:35 AM
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#35. "New concept... "
In response to Reply # 32


US
          

While shooting fireworks tonight (our local horse track does them on the 3rd) I had a bit of a revelation.

After about 3 seconds, shutter speed is irrelevent! Aperture is what's really important, and you can vary your shutter speed as you see fit. What? Am I nuts? No, there's logic behind this.

The typical pro fireworks burst only lasts about 2 to 3 seconds. Then the powder burns out and it fades to black. So 4 seconds or 10 seconds, if the burst only is visible for 3, it doesn't matter.

The fireworks is basically setting the shutter speed for you with its duration. You can't vary that either. So, since the exposure duration is set, you can only control the aperture. Set it to try and keep some color in the fireworks. I found f10 to f8 to work well.

After dialing that in, I varied shutter speed from 6 to 20 seconds. It didn't really affect the color of the individual bursts. Obviously, if you get too many bursts in the same spot, you'll get an over-exposed white blob. Also, if there's enough ambient light, the shutter speed will control how visible the foreground and background is.

So you should set both according to your local conditions, but what I hadn't thought much about is that they're don't directly correlate. Aperture is based on the brightness of the fireworks, while shutter speed should be based on how many shells they're shooting and the frequency. Unlike most photos, you can change one without changing the other and get roughly the same exposure.

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Wed 04-Jul-12 03:36 PM
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#36. "Exposing for fireworks"
In response to Reply # 35
Wed 04-Jul-12 03:37 PM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

"Aperture is based on the brightness of the fireworks, while shutter speed should be based on how many shells they're shooting and the frequency. Unlike most photos, you can change one without changing the other and get roughly the same exposure."

Hi Bob,

What you have written has basically affirmed what I wrote above in post #6. Aperture does indeed control the Amount of light reaching the sensor, hence the brightness recorded of each individual bursting display, while the shutter speed controls the Duration or time the sensor records what is in front of you, including ambient (background) lighting and how many bursts fill the sky.

However, to say that you can change one without affecting the other and still get the same exposure is not correct.

A good example is J. Ramon Palacios's (JRP) initial post above with his beautiful photo of Disneyland that was photographed at 1/50 sec @ f/3.5. No doubt there were many bursts going off, possibly the finale was taking place. Shooting nearly wide open allowed him to capture the blue hues of light on the castle, while the faster shutter speed froze a burst that was already open, thus shortening the duration of the light hitting the sensor

Conversely, if had taken the photo at 1/6 sec @ f/11 he would have still had the same exposure, the difference being probably more bursting shells recorded in the same frame, and a danger of over exposure from overlapping bursts creating as you say a "white blob."

JRP did not have the luxury of shooting a longer exposure because as he states, his photo was achieved hand held. And probably the Disney staff, wary of possible accidents near large crowds, would NOT have allowed him to use a tripod.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Wed 04-Jul-12 04:41 PM
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#38. "RE: Exposing for fireworks"
In response to Reply # 36


US
          

> However, to say that you can change one
> without affecting the other and still
> get the same exposure is not correct.


It was a bit of over-simplification. The comment only applies the shells, not the foreground of course. Obviously it will affect the other elements in the photo, as well as the number of bursts in the image.

Basically here's what I was suggesting, assuming you're using a tripod and shooting the entire burst of the shell...

1) Dial in the exposure of the firework with aperture.

2) Using shutter speed, expose for the rest of the scene and/or choose how many burst you capture.

The fact that they work somewhat independtly is what surprised me.

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Wed 04-Jul-12 04:56 PM
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#39. "RE: Exposing for fireworks"
In response to Reply # 38


Montreal, CA
          

Hi again Bob,

Your new recommendations are correct. Bear in mind though, that as the fireworks show progresses, you will need to vary your aperture depending upon:

1. Brightness of the fireworks. If they are bright white or red, then you will have to close down. If green and blue, you will have to open up. Blue is the hardest colour to capture, as it is usually the faintest, and less intense, compared to the others.

2. Number of explosions in a given time frame. Example - if you have your shutter open for 2 seconds and you are only getting two or three bursts within that time frame - f/8 to f/11 may be just dandy.

However if all hell is breaking loose as the finale comes, f/22 will be needed, and an exposure time (shutter speed) of 1 sec or less. Remember with that many explosions going off, the surrounding area will be nicely lit up by what are essentially giant flares!

Shooting in RAW, then bringing up the FILL light and other methods in the RAW converter as I illustrated above, will allow you to get the full range of light.

Have fun tonight!

Cheers... Frederic

  

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Wed 04-Jul-12 05:04 PM
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#40. "RE: Exposing for fireworks"
In response to Reply # 39


US
          

> new recommendations are correct

LOL, they haven't actually changed. I'm just not as clear and concise at midnight after a long day.

  

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DavidSalahi Registered since 21st Sep 2011Thu 05-Jul-12 11:53 PM
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#48. "RE: Processing your Fireworks Images in PS"
In response to Reply # 32
Fri 06-Jul-12 04:50 PM by DavidSalahi

US
          

Frederic,
Thanks for the processing tips and especially the shooting tips elsewhere in this forum. I used your tips last night for our local Independence Day show here in the U.S. and they worked out well for me. Unfortunately, I slightly overexposed some of my images which caused an unwanted background glow in the smoke. But using Adobe Camera RAW in a manner similar to what you describe here I was able to rescue quite a few images which are now posted on my blog.

Readers who are using CS6 you'll notice that some of the controls have changed from those shown in Frederic's post here. Specifically, Fill Light, Recovery and Brightness are gone. In their places are Shadows, Highlights and Whites. The Camera RAW engine has also been updated with one which is better able to extract details from images which have been under- or overexposed.

In my case, since I had some overexposed shots I cranked the Shadows and Blacks sliders all the way to -100. In most photos this eliminated the glowing smoky "nebula" behind the fireworks leaving me with a nice dark background. I was further able to reduce the smoky background using the Clarity slider. Here's a before-and-after pair showing the effect of just the Blacks and Shadows sliders:
Before:
http://photoperformance.org/dls/before.jpg
After:
http://photoperformance.org/dls/after.jpg

David Salahi

Photo Blog: http://images.salahi.net/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Fri 06-Jul-12 02:11 AM
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#50. "RE: Processing your Fireworks Images in PS"
In response to Reply # 48


Montreal, CA
          

Superb image David... glad I could be of assistance.

And thank you for your tips! I will be upgrading to CS6 in August, so I will tryout your suggestions when I get back from France July 30th, after shooting the big Bastille Day fireworks in Paris on July 14th.

All the best,

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Sun 01-Jul-12 06:34 PM
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#34. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Chicago, US
          

Nikon's article Taking Pictures of Fireworks byLindsay Silverman.

And do not forget Photographing the Night Sky: Star Trails.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Wed 04-Jul-12 04:33 PM
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#37. "Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 04-Jul-12 06:06 PM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

Happy Independence Day to all my Nikonian colleagues and American friends!


No doubt some of you are preparing to head out today for the fireworks event and celebrations wherever you live. While it probably goes without saying (and perhaps you already know this), here are a few tips before you go:

1. Camera batteries - fully charged! Carry a spare... just in case.
2. Flash cards/camera media - empty and pre-formatted in camera, ready for your first photo!
3. Shutter release cable or remote control
4. Raincoat, poncho or umbrella - if rain is in the forecast, or the weather is changeable in your area
5. Clean cloths - for drying down your camera, cleaning your lens filter of dirt, water etc
6. Water bottles - stay hydrated - especially if you are in a hot environment!
7. Snacks and food - you may have a long wait, especially if you get there early.
8. Flashlight - to set your camera settings in the dark, and to verify your tripod is setup in a good, stable location.
9. Notebook and pen - you will probably meet other photographers (tripods are a good clue) - its a great way to make new contacts! Also record you location and time for future reference.
10. Sun screen and hat
11. Maps of your location. If you are unfamiliar with the area, or an accident occurs on one of the routes nearby, having a local map may help you to get away sooner via a different route. You can also mark your shoot location.
12. Headlamp - great to use when your hands are tied up and you need a touch of light.





Claiming my spot - in the rain!
Location: Arlington National Cemetery, near the Citadel, Arlington, VA
Time: 6:29pm


If you have already scouted a location, get there early, as good spots go fast!
At most places - I arrived from 6 to 8 hours before the event. It's a great way to meet other people... and party too!





Celebrating Independence Day.
Location: Arlington, VA
Time : 5:13pm


Take some people photos! No doubt you will run into some interesting and colourfully dressed celebrants.
Don't forget to get their names, contact info and photo release if you intend to publish the images.
And be kind - send them a copy via email as a souvenir.


Happy shooting!

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Wed 04-Jul-12 05:32 PM
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#41. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 37


Washington, US
          

I am shooting in DC tonight; focus on infinity? the Wasington Monument? Where?

Images from last year:












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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Wed 04-Jul-12 05:50 PM
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#42. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 41
Wed 04-Jul-12 06:02 PM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

Some superb photos there Robert!

Definitely focus on infinity. Turn AF off, so the camera won't hunt.

As to shooting in DC, when I was there in 2007, the fireworks were setup in front of the Washington monument. From your photos of last year, the position hasn't changed.

So, if you don't mind the tight crowds... try in the center of The Mall, maybe on one of the cross streets, or further back towards the Congress building.

http://goo.gl/maps/2R5z

Expect a lot of people, unlike your previous location in Arlington. Head off soon to get a good line of sight. Forget about driving... the bridges and roads will be jammed at the end of the night!

Take the Metro... and have fun!

Good luck!

Cheers,

Frederic in Montréal

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Wed 04-Jul-12 06:00 PM
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#43. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 42


Washington, US
          

I thought I'd shoot from the same positon, at the base of the bell tower near Roslyn. I don't want to search for a good spot and not find one.

So many places here in DC

  

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Wed 04-Jul-12 07:02 PM
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#44. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 43
Wed 04-Jul-12 08:13 PM by Rharbison

US
          

Here's a couple of samples. They're both at f9, which is washing the fireworks out just a bit. (These are essentially straight out of camera, just cropped.)

Notice that the fireworks have about the same color in both exposures.



8 Seconds at f9, ISO 100



3 Seconds at r9, ISO 100

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Fri 06-Jul-12 02:31 AM
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#54. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 44
Sat 07-Jul-12 12:17 AM by bobpilot

Washington, US
          

2012 experiment:

I used a smaller aperture in the hope that this would allow for a longer exposure time, started with f/10 then went to f/14, finally to f/16. I stopped down because it looked as if the images were overexposed. Alas, the smaller aperture also underexposed the monuments. Also, the fireworks were underexposed a bit, but at least not blown out. I brought some exposure back in Lightroom; I'd rather have it right.

The black cloth, folded, worked fine, as did the pocket wizard in with 'Bulb' for the shutter speed on the camera (D3x). Although just before the show, the shutter would not open. Don't know why, I changed something. Resolved by setting Autofocus to Release, even though I was in Manual focus. Why did that resolve this?

I wanted to change the zoom and moved the focus, after the show started. so I refocus on the fireworks, which left the monuments a bit soft.

Very brief show this year; seventeen minutes.

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Fri 06-Jul-12 03:24 AM
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#55. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 54


Lowden, US
          

Nice job Bob!

Dave Summers
Lowden, Iowa
Nikonians Photo Contest Director

Nikonians membership -
"My most important photographic investment, after the camera"

My Nikonians Gallery | SummersPhotoGraphic.com | My Crated Gallery
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Showcase your best work in any of our 7 Monthly Nikonians Photo contests.


Wildlife | Landscape | Macro | Sports | Travel | Online Assignments | Best of Nikonians 2014

  

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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Fri 06-Jul-12 11:48 PM
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#57. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 54
Fri 06-Jul-12 11:52 PM by Trinurse

Torrington, US
          

@ Bobpilot
Those are some of the nicest firework shots I think I've ever seen.

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sat 07-Jul-12 12:01 AM
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#58. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 57


Washington, US
          

Thank you so much! Your compliment means a lot to me; thank you.

Maybe underexposing is the way to go; not my plan, but it produced a different result than I've seen.

  

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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Sat 07-Jul-12 12:44 AM
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#59. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 58


Torrington, US
          

Do you think you could repost them with your camera settings? I'm curious to see what they were.

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sat 07-Jul-12 01:51 AM
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#60. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 59
Sat 07-Jul-12 01:54 AM by bobpilot

Washington, US
          

If you go to my web page <http://www.lenstrek.net/fourthfireworks2012>; find the EXIF data on the photo page (where only one photo is shown). Put the mouse in the upper right of the image.

The exposure time will not make sense; I used Bulb for the camera exposure, and held a black cloth in front of the lens when I want to block the exposure. I attempted to block the exposure as the burst exploded so as to not overexpose.

When I made Lightroom adjustments, some exposures needed no adjustment, some by 1 or 2 stops. A few were underexposed by 4 stops.

Most looked underexposed on the camera display; LR does a great job.

  

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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Sat 07-Jul-12 02:34 AM
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#61. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 60


Torrington, US
          

Incredibly sharp! Were you using a Nikkor 70-200 f2.8? And spot metered. Never would have thought to use that. I've used center weighted with good results but never spot metered.
I also see that you varied the aperture between f10 and f16. Why?

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sat 07-Jul-12 03:07 AM
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#62. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 61


Washington, US
          

The monuments are not as sharp as I had wanted them to be. I focused on the Washington; about 2 miles away (measured on a map for this discussion) and then knocked out the focus with a error.

I estimated what focal length to use and after the show started noticed that I needed to be a bit wider; instead of moving the zoom, I changed the focus by mistake; noticed two images were out of focus, and then refocused on the fireworks using Autofocus.

I wanted to use a base exposure of the correct exposure for the monuments. If that came out to be six seconds at f/10, then I know that the total length of time that the cloth is not in front of the lens is six seconds.

My idea was to get two or three bursts in one image; without overexposing. That is the reason for the small aperture. When I checked the back of the camera, I noticed that some images were overexposed, so I made two adjustments (which is not a good idea); I stopped down to a smaller aperture and also reduced the time the cloth was not in front of the lens.

Now my shots were underexposed; as I was making another adjustment, the show was ending. Some images I didn't use the cloth and guessed at a shutter speed; bulb setting, so it was not measured, just guessed.

While all of these seems deliberate and controlled, it is not. I am guessing, making changes, and more guessing. I am getting better at knowing what to look for, but the shows are not long enough.

Check out the fireworks photography I did at OpSail 2012:

<http://www.lenstrek.net/opsail2012[br />

  

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Sat 07-Jul-12 03:28 AM
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#63. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 62


US
          

>
>My idea was to get two or three bursts in one image; without
>overexposing. That is the reason for the small aperture.
>When I checked the back of the camera, I noticed that some
>images were overexposed, so I made two adjustments (which is
>not a good idea); I stopped down to a smaller aperture and
>also reduced the time the cloth was not in front of the lens.
>
>
>Now my shots were underexposed; as I was making another
>adjustment, the show was ending. Some images I didn't use the
>cloth and guessed at a shutter speed; bulb setting, so it was
>not measured, just guessed.
>
>While all of these seems deliberate and controlled, it is not.
>I am guessing, making changes, and more guessing. I am
>getting better at knowing what to look for, but the shows are
>not long enough.
>

That's the way it goes, isn't it? Just about the time you get things dialed in, the show's over! Every time I get a bit better and thus faster at it, but I'm still constantly making changes and trying to get better.

The problem is that there are so many variables. The fireworks themselves change, the really big shows have bigger and brighter shells. Local shows are still big, but not quite as bright. Backyard fireworks are a lot smaller, but still bright.

I think the key is getting the aperture correct for the bursts. They're fairly brief, and once your exposure is longer than the duration, all you can change is aperture. I'm finding that somewhere between F8 and F11 seems to work. I shot at F9 on Tuesday and F10/F11 Wednesday. The bigger fireworks needed a smaller aperture to retain color. I dial it back until the color is clearly visible, then leave it alone and just change durations.

Be very careful of your LCD monitor. The histogram is probably of limited use with all the black in the sky. When viewing the photo, you can easily be fooled by how bright it is. Be sure and dial it down before the show starts.

I don't think I'll ever choose one setting and forget it. The fireworks vary too much in intensity and frequency. I try and match that with my exposure time, by guess and by golly. I also intentionally vary, sort of bracketing things, in the hope that some will work out. It seems to help.

  

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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Sat 07-Jul-12 04:11 AM
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#64. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 62


Torrington, US
          

Thanks for the tips. I think you nailed exposure spot on while still achieving very good focus on more than a few images.
I'm going out tomorrow night for our small town fireworks. Not much of a backdrop (the middleschool) but i'd like to see if I can get a decent isolated firework or two.
I'm at a bit of a disadvantage equipement wise with a crop sensor D300s with the kit 18-55 (my prized Tamron 17-55 is at Tamron being serviced). I think the sweet spot for that lens is around f8-f11 so I'll start there, keep the ISO at 200, just focus on shutter speeds and keep my fingers crossed.

  

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Sat 07-Jul-12 04:27 AM
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#65. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 64
Sat 07-Jul-12 04:30 AM by Rharbison

US
          

>I'm at a bit of a disadvantage equipement wise with a crop
>sensor D300s with the kit 18-55 (my prized Tamron 17-55 is at
>Tamron being serviced). I think the sweet spot for that lens
>is around f8-f11 so I'll start there, keep the ISO at 200,
>just focus on shutter speeds and keep my fingers crossed.

Nothing wrong with the D300! I used mine in 2010 and got one of my all time favorite fireworks shots.

D300, ISO 200, F14 (it was the grand finale so I dialed it down) at 2 seconds. 18-200 lens. Notice how F14 makes the fireworks look like lines and doesn't show much feathering. I prefer f11, but I had no choice in this case. My focal length was 40 mm.

I think your 18-55 will do just fine...





Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Sat 07-Jul-12 04:39 AM
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#66. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 65


Torrington, US
          

Thanks. While it would be nice to have the full sized sensor for these type of shots, my trusty D300s has never dropped the ball.
I also agree on the 18-55. I think its the most under appreciated lens of all time. Very sharp and reliable.
F11 sounds good to start and will take it from there. Also thinking of giving my 50 1.8 a try if I can get the location down.

  

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Rharbison Registered since 24th Apr 2008Sat 07-Jul-12 04:48 AM
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#67. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 66


US
          

>Thanks. While it would be nice to have the full sized sensor
>for these type of shots, my trusty D300s has never dropped the
>ball.
>I also agree on the 18-55. I think its the most under
>appreciated lens of all time. Very sharp and reliable.
>F11 sounds good to start and will take it from there. Also
>thinking of giving my 50 1.8 a try if I can get the location
>down.

Well, you could try the 50, but of course you lose flexibility. The 50 is tack sharp, but you don't really need that for fireworks. There are very few sharp edges on fireworks. It's hard to tell if they're exactly in focus. If you have a foreground object it may be more obvious. I've seen hand held fireworks shots that looked OK. (But use a tripod, it's worth it!)

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sat 07-Jul-12 09:43 PM
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#68. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 64


Washington, US
          

So, how'd the photos turn out?

  

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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Sun 08-Jul-12 11:23 PM
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#72. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 68


Torrington, US
          

Here you go.
I only got four good ones. Here's why:
Focus on infinity. Check
Aperture on f11. Check
Shutter speed on bulb: Check

Wait. Hold on. That's why most of them came out fuzzy. The finger is slower than the eye and I kept the shutter open too long on most of them.
Should have set it on 1/15 or 1/8. Oh well.
So what I've been doing this sfternoon (my excuse to stay cool inside and not help with gardening) is try to make something out of nothing and learned how to layer mask three images into one good one.

Thanks to everyone for the great advice and assistance. I've taken notes and will try again next year if not sooner.
John

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sun 08-Jul-12 11:39 PM
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#73. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 72


Washington, US
          

These look good!

I tried a fixed shutter speed and that didn't work as well as you might imagine. Bulb and a black card, or a folded cloth, seems to work better.

Hold the shutter open with bulb
Let the initial blast occur
Then expose by removing the card for a brief time; less than a second, unless it's at the end of a blast, then longer.
Black card over the lens and wait for the next blast.
You can get two or three blasts on one exposure.

Last year we got a few good shots out of hundreds; my friend did better than me.

Look at fireworks shots and you will see that most are overexposed; I don't know, of course, but I suspect most were at a fixed shutter speed.



  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Mon 09-Jul-12 03:37 AM
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#74. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 72
Mon 09-Jul-12 03:39 AM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

This image is really good John! Nice trick to stack three photos with layers to create one very interesting composition.


If you photographed your images in RAW, (or RAW + Jpeg) try pulling down the Exposure slider as I wrote in the tutorial above, to bring colour back to the fireworks. Next sneak up the Fill Light slider, then the Brightness for any foreground buildings.

Works in CS3 to 5, and Elements 8, 9, & 10.

You could also try some dodging in the Shadows and Midtones. Try Exposure settings of between 5 to 10%. Truth be told, I did some dodging on the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Congress building in Post 69.

You may find you can recover more from detail that you expect from some other images.


As to how long to keep the shutter open, it really is helpful to s-l-o-w-l-y count out loud (or whisper) one thousand one, one thousand two etc with a max of 4 to 6 seconds. I tried the stop watch routine years ago... and gave up on that. Too much time lost resetting the watch for the next shot.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Mon 09-Jul-12 02:28 PM
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#75. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 74


Torrington, US
          

Thanks for the tips.
I was going to try the composition again as soon as I posted the image I noticed some details on the left side burst that look agregiously photoshoped.
I just use Elements so Im limited in what I can do but Ill give it a go later today.

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Mon 09-Jul-12 03:28 PM
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#76. "RE: Happy Independence Day! Last minute tips"
In response to Reply # 75
Mon 09-Jul-12 03:31 PM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

If you shot in RAW mode, the RAW converter in Elements 8 and higher is very good - you can do a lot of adjustments right there before formally opening the file in Elements.

I teach Elements to workshop participants. This software's RAW converter has many of the same features like its big brother CS, with the exception of the Adjustment brushes and Tone control, as outlined in the Tutorial above.

Look forward to seeing more of your images

Cheers,

Frederic in Montréal

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Sun 08-Jul-12 06:02 PM
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#69. "Washington DC Fireworks"
In response to Reply # 54
Sun 08-Jul-12 06:45 PM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

Terrific photos Robert - you have really nailed the exposures! And the colours... just so so vibrant! A little saturation boost in LR?

Visited your website - my favourite's are 7,(22) 10(25), and 11(25). Just excellent!


"I wanted to change the zoom and moved the focus, after the show started. so I refocus on the fireworks, which left the monuments a bit soft."

I am curious about this statement, as to how the fireworks themselves can be tach sharp, yet the monuments slightly out of focus. Simply put, this seems impossible. To start - you are across the river, probably a mile away. So if you were focused on infinity, with the f/10 aperture you used in most of your photos, you would have plenty of DOF at that distance.

I suspect it may have more to do with ground effect smog, humidity and heat radiation from the ground. Temperatures from what I've read in the press have been really high in Washington - up near 100F and higher. This may account for the slight softening you were talking about.

The fireworks themselves explode higher up, 1000 to 2000 feet in cooler air, so the clarity is better.

When I was in Washington in 2007, it rained all afternoon (see my photo in post 37) so the air was nice and cool when the fireworks started at 10pm. I had similar issues as you, trying to balance the exposures on the monuments and the fireworks. This photo was taken on a D200. I used Smart Sharpen in CS4 with "lens blur" selected.





Independence Day in Washington
Location: Arlington National Memorial, near the Citadel, Virginia
Exposure: ISO 100, f/22 @ 2.6 sec
Nikon D200, Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8D AFS @ 130mm


"Very brief show this year; seventeen minutes."

Ya, isn't that a bummer? When I was there, it was just 15 minutes. Being the nations capital, your would think it would be longer...

The 2010 Macy's 4th of July Fireworks in New York was launched from 5 barges moored in the Hudson River. That show ran 22 minutes.

Here in Montreal, most shows run 20 to 30 minutes.


Thanks again for sharing your superb images


Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sun 08-Jul-12 06:33 PM
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#70. "RE: Washington DC Fireworks"
In response to Reply # 69


Washington, US
          

>Terrific photos Robert - you have really nailed the
>exposures.

I am not sure it is possible to get a correct exposure in this situation. Most of my images were underexposed and needed an increase in LR


And the colours... just so so vibrant! A little
>saturation boost in LR?

not often do I increase saturation; I increased Vibrance


>
>Visited your website - my favourite's are 7,(22) 10(25), and
>11(25). Just excellent!
>
>
>"I wanted to change the zoom and moved the focus,
>after the show started. so I refocus on the fireworks, which
>left the monuments a bit soft."

>
>I am curious about this statement, as to how the fireworks
>themselves can be tach sharp, yet the monuments slightly out
>of focus. Simply put, this seems impossible. To start - you
>are across the river, probably a mile away. So if were focused
>on infinity, with the f/10 aperture you used in most of your
>photos, you would have plenty of DOF at that distance.
>
>I suspect it may have more to do with ground effect smog,
>humidity and heat radiation from the ground. Temperatures from
>what I've read in the press have been really high in
>Washington - up near 100F and higher. This may account for the
>slight softening you were talking about.

I agree; the distance and atmosphere seems to be the issue. I used Live view to prefocus on the Washington Monument and then made a mistake and moved the focus instead of the zoom. I then used Autofocus on the fireworks because by then the monuments were dim compared to the fireworks.


>
>The fireworks themselves explode higher up, 1000 to 2000 feet
>in cooler air, so the clarity is better.
>
Ah, didn't think of this. but the difference in temperature would be 2C or less; (standard lapse rate of 2C per thousand feet.)


>When I was in Washington in 2007, it rained all afternoon (see
>my photo in post 37) so the air was nice and cool when the
>fireworks started at 10pm.

rain is nice to cleaning the air, but I don't like shooting in rain.


>
>Ya, isn't that a bummer? When I was there in 07, it was 15
>minutes. Being the nations capital, your would think it would
>be longer...

It was much longer last year.
>

>Thanks for sharing
>
You are welcome. Another year to do it again.

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sun 08-Jul-12 06:35 PM
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#71. "RE: Washington DC Fireworks"
In response to Reply # 69
Mon 09-Jul-12 03:48 AM by bobpilot

Washington, US
          

Wonderful image from 2007; a red river, nice.

  

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Bump57 Silver Member Awarded for his high skill level in Landscape and Nature Photography and willingness to share his learning experiences to help others. Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 01st Apr 2007Tue 10-Jul-12 06:57 AM
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#77. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 11-Jul-12 03:33 AM by Bump57

US
          

I guess I am a little late to the 4th party, I didn't see this post until today, actually the link came in an email. Here are a few shots from this year I posted in the Picture I took thread.

We braved the heat and set out to spend the 4th of July on the Peoria, IL River Front for 2012. The Methodist Medical Center Red White & Boom sponsored show was just as beautiful as last years show. Last year we setup centrally located on the East Peoria side of the river and photographed from there. The location produced some images I really liked. This year I wanted to somehow include the Murray Baker Bridge. Getting ready to leave for the show my lovely bride informs me there is a 4th of July photo contest sponsored by the JMP Radio Group, nothing like the last minute! So we spent a little extra time scouting out our spot for the day ; ) Thanks for looking, hope you enjoy them.


They were all taken with the D300, 12-24, iso 200, tripod, cable release, bulb setting, various exposure times 2 - 6 seconds. All EXIF data is intact.







































.
.



Scott Martin Sternberg

Scotts Fine Art

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Wed 11-Jul-12 02:01 PM
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#80. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 77


Washington, US
          

oh wow! These are fantastic. The buildings are so sharp, the reflections are stunning, and the fireworks are fantastic. What a great vista.

  

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Bump57 Silver Member Awarded for his high skill level in Landscape and Nature Photography and willingness to share his learning experiences to help others. Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 01st Apr 2007Thu 12-Jul-12 05:38 AM
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#81. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 80


US
          

Thank you Bob for the kind comments. : )

.
.



Scott Martin Sternberg

Scotts Fine Art

  

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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Fri 13-Jul-12 06:53 AM
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#82. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 77
Fri 13-Jul-12 06:57 AM by voyageurfred

Montreal, CA
          

Fantastic images there Scott! You really attained a nice balance between the intensity of the fireworks, and the city lights with the bridge in the background.

My fav's are three and seven. Number three benefits from some superb reflections and the lingering smoke, while the last one in particular with the three levels of explosions and range of colours captured... is really impressive.

Good luck with the photo contest. Be careful with the terms and conditions though, as some contests want images entered for use in perpetuity to do with as they please, including re-selling or using them for marketing with no compensation to the maker.

If you like the prestige of winning though, should you be so honoured... then I say - go for it!

Bon chance! Good luck!

Cheers,

Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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Bump57 Silver Member Awarded for his high skill level in Landscape and Nature Photography and willingness to share his learning experiences to help others. Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 01st Apr 2007Fri 13-Jul-12 02:41 PM
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#84. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 82


US
          

Thanks Frederic for your very kind thoughts. 3 6 & 7 are the ones that went. The rules do state that they will be able use the image as they see fit basically. However first prize is 1000.00 & I will still maintain full rights. So in my mind it is not a bad deal. Thanks for looking out for a fellow photo bug though!

.
.



Scott Martin Sternberg

Scotts Fine Art

  

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Trinurse Registered since 22nd Oct 2008Fri 13-Jul-12 11:18 PM
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#85. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 77


Torrington, US
          

Freaking AMAZING iamges!

  

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Bump57 Silver Member Awarded for his high skill level in Landscape and Nature Photography and willingness to share his learning experiences to help others. Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 01st Apr 2007Sat 14-Jul-12 07:16 PM
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#86. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 85


US
          

Thanks John for your kind words!

.
.



Scott Martin Sternberg

Scotts Fine Art

  

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LL49Wat Registered since 21st May 2004Tue 10-Jul-12 03:50 PM
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#78. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Spartanburg, US
          

Fireworks have been a big bugaboo for me in the past. I was determined to get some good shots this year. Bad weather with thunder, lighting, and hail made things difficult as far as getting set up, but a second wave of storms actually helped me by forcing the show to go off a little earlier than planned.

I still haven't quite got the timing down. I did end up hand holding the shots using a friend's shoulder to help me keep steady. Shot was taken with a Nikon D5100, AF-S DX NIkkor 35mm f/1.8G, Iso 1600, OEV, f/1.8, 1/250. I used the 35mm because it's my fastest AF-S lens and so that I could bring shoot a wider angle, allowing me to show the launching zone.

LL49Wat

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.




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ChristianF Gold Member Nikonian since 21st Jan 2007Wed 11-Jul-12 01:16 PM
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#79. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks 2012 -- Let's share"
In response to Reply # 0


Montreal, CA
          

A special thanks to Frederic in Montreal for his tips which I applied shamelessly - including tips on best location in Montreal

Christian,
www.cfphotographs.com
http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/useralbums.php?nik_lng=en


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voyageurfred Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Jun 2007Fri 13-Jul-12 07:07 AM
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#83. "Montreal International Fireworks"
In response to Reply # 79


Montreal, CA
          

Tres bon photo Christian... bien faire. Good to hear you enjoyed the location and the tips.

If you try some dodging in the shadows using the values I listed in post 69, you might be able to bring out Montreal's signature Mount Royal and the cross.

Merci encore pour les bon mots et compliments.

Salut,
Frederic in Montréal

Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
http://www.RemarkableImages.ca

  

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olivierrychner Gold Member  Awarded for his long standing high level of commitment to the Nikonians community and demonstrated excellence in the art and science of photography. Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2005Sat 29-Jun-13 07:22 PM
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#90. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks -- Let's share -- 2013"
In response to Reply # 0


Boudry, CH
          

Never ever despair if threatening weather sets in. Sometimes it does get nasty enough to help!



Olivier Rychner
__________________________________________
Jetez un oeil à ma galerie if you feel like it! And it's a bit void as of now, but I also have a Nikonians blog

Auta i lomë! And my Nikon's only awaiting daylight...

  

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hou2000 Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Registered since 11th Jun 2004Wed 03-Jul-13 09:18 PM
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#91. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks -- Let's share -- 2013"
In response to Reply # 90


Neuchatel, CH
          




Great shot Olivier!!

Same night I think, further down the lake from you. It was a spectacular night of natural and man-made fireworks over Lac Neuchatel.

Cheers,
Sam

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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pic Silver Member Charter MemberThu 04-Jul-13 03:25 AM
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#92. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks -- Let's share -- 2013"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 04-Jul-13 03:32 AM by pic

Seattle, US
          

You have to love the potential in those RAW files! This is a single exposure, taken last year. The difference between this result and the jpeg captured simultaneously is like day and night.


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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sat 06-Jul-13 01:08 AM
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#93. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks -- Let's share -- 2013"
In response to Reply # 0


Washington, US
          

While touted as the biggest and best Fireworks display in Utah, most of us were disappointed; I didn't hear any applause at the end. This display made me miss Washington DC's celebration.

The road along the cliff was lined with parked cars, every pullout was full of cars and people. About half way through the show, many cars could be seen on the road, leaving.

I set up two cameras, uses the same technique as the past few times. Thus, these shots contain more than one plume. Each burst was spread out in time form the previous with long gaps of black sky. I held the shutter open with the Bulb setting and used a stiff card as a manual shutter; thus I captured more than one burst in a single exposure.










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laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 14th Nov 2005Sun 07-Jul-13 07:20 AM
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#94. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks -- Let's share -- 2013"
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Sun 07-Jul-13 07:22 AM by laddad

Kinston, NC, US
          

Here is "a" shot of fireworks in our community on July 4th. I must admit I cheated! It is actually three shots layered and merged together in Photoshop CS6. Each exposure was done at ASO 100, F18 and 3 seconds. I also used a tripod and shutter release cord.


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gregckar Gold Member Nikonian since 11th Oct 2008Tue 09-Jul-13 08:09 PM
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#95. "Fireworks in Austin"
In response to Reply # 0


Austin, US
          

Fireworks in Austin:









Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sun 29-Jun-14 10:51 AM
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#96. "RE: Fireworks Tips and Tricks -- Let's share -- 2013"
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Paignton, UK
          

As we're approaching 100 posts, this thread will now continue here.

Thanks, everyone

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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