This is it! Last day of the World Pyro Olympics and I know most of you are coming today on the last day of WPO. You don't have time to experiment on taking firework photos and you got only two chances: One, during the much-awaited China Pyrotechnics show and two, for our very own Philippines Exhibition Show!!
Here are the ultimate tips on Fireworks Photography updated with some of my learnings from the earlier shoots:
1. Bring a tripod. If you are serious in taking clean firework shots, then bring or borrow a tripod. Otherwise, you'll get blurring, bleeding, or shaking shots of the fireworks.
2. Use Bulb, f8 or f16. For SLR cameras, use manual mode, Bulb settings as your shutter speed, and either use f/8 or f/16 as your aperture. Once you use the Bulb setting, you will have the creative freedom to determine when to close the shutter or not. Use f/8 throughout the fireworks show and start using f/16 during the finale.
3. Learn from overexposed fireworks. A good shot of the fireworks is usually clean and colorful. If your photo came out white, it is overexposed and keep a mental note of these mistakes (how long you exposed it, etc.)
4. Frame with a good foreground. Anybody can take a decent and even by-chance shot of the fireworks. What makes a winning fireworks shot is a good framing and a good foreground. A foreground could be silhouettes, lovers watching the show, people taking photographs, etc.
5. Use ISO 100. I've made this mistake a couple times already where I set my ISO to 1600 and all my fireworks shot came as over exposed. Use the less sensitive ISO setting in your camera.