Fireworks Photography

If you’re anything like us at Photoion Photography School London, you’ll be wondering where the last year has disintegrated to? However, like it or not, we are back at Bonfire Night’s door, which kicks off another festive season of winter photography.

When it comes to Bonfire Night, there is one thing that makes for fantastic photography is definitely capturing some of the more beautiful fireworks on film.

Trial and error is a massive part of getting the right shot, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. By nature, fireworks are unpredictable, it can be hard to gauge what they’re going to do next so the second you click the shutter, the outcome of the picture come be something completely different that what you expected.

Like anything in life, forward planning is a necessity when deciding to snap fireworks, and at Photoion London Photography School, we recommend that you carefully scope out exactly where you will located to take your images, as well as whereabouts in the area you will be positioned. If you are at a public display, ask where the fireworks will be set off, this will ensure you have the opportunity of the very best view.

Make sure you have a sturdy equipment, including a strong tripod; this is one of the key pieces of kit to get the best exposure. Your tripod needs to stay stone still for several seconds as you will be using a longer exposure for this particular photography technique.

Many cameras these days have a specialist ‘fireworks’ setting, meaning you don’t have to worry too much about manually adjusting your camera. However, if you’re one of the unfortunates who has to spend that little bit of extra time on getting your settings correct, here’s what to do. It’ll all be worth it in the end!

  • To infinity, and beyond!

Set your focus to infinity; if you want to zoom in at particular parts of the firework, simply adjust the focus as you go in for your close up.

  • No flashing

By nature, flashes are there to illuminate your frame. Why would you ever need to illuminate a firework? Get that flash turned off! Leaving it on will actually make the shot duller as opposed to brighter.

  • Leave your shutter open

This may feel a little unnatural as a photographer, and being scared of overexposure is normal. However, fear not, this is the right way to go about photographing fireworks. Try and keep your exposure running for about 30 seconds and use your senses to judge when to open the shutter; listen to when fresh fireworks are being released and try and time when you think the burst will penetrate the sky.

  • Play around with Composition

Regular firework images are few and far between, so playing around with the composition of your shot will allow to stand out from the crowd; include buildings or silhouettes, or take an image of a reflection of a firework. Use your creativity and the sky really is the limit!