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Photographing Fireworks this July 4th Weekend

Photographing Fireworks – Quick Tips

 

Dallas/Fort Worth offers many amazing opportunities every 4th of July to see some of the best fireworks shows in the country. From Kaboom Town in Addison to the Red, White & Boom on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge west of downtown Dallas, we get great access to very large and often long displays of fireworks that are perfect for photography. Here are some quick tips to maximize your success.

What do you need to bring?

  1. Your camera with a charger battery & good sized memory card
  2. Tripod
  3. Cable Release for your camera to activate the shutter
  4. Bug Spray
  5. Bottle of water or something else to drink

How to get the shot above

  1. Place your camera on the tripod pointed towards the fireworks display.
  2. Connect your cable release to your camera.
  3. Put your camera in Manual Mode or M.
  4. Set the Aperture for your lens to F 11 – this cuts the light entering the lens because fireworks are quite bright.
  5. Change your shutter speed to Bulb mode- often marked with a B on Canon cameras. Sometimes bulb mode is hidden and you have to change the shutter speed past its slowest setting which is usually 30″ to find it.
  6. Set your ISO to 200.

When the fireworks start, you will use your cable release to fire the shutter and then hold down the button while you count to 10 seconds. More fireworks will be going off during this time and thus building up the photo like you see above. Check your image and adjust how long you keep the shutter open as needed. When it’s time for the finale remember that you will need to keep the shutter open for a shorter amount of time, maybe 5-6 seconds, due to the increase in number of fireworks exploding.

 

Other tips: Turn off long exposure Noise Reduction as this will only slow you down after shooting each image. You can usually find this setting in your camera menu.

Where to see fireworks this weekend?

Our friends at the Dallas Morning News have a great list of all the fireworks show and festivals happening around town this weekend. Check them out by clicking here.

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