How to photograph fireworks

In preparation for Friday, here's a quick guide showing how to photograph fireworks

How to photograph fireworks

Bonfire nHow to photograph fireworksight is this Friday, and with firework displays going ahead over the weekend around the country we thought some advice on how to photograph firework displays might not go amiss.

Fireworks are a perennial favourite subject for photographers, and Guy Fawkes Night is the best time of year in the UK to shoot them.

What equipment will you need?

You'll need a sturdy tripod and a remote release.

How to prepare

Get to the event and pick your spot well in advance. If you can include an illuminated landmark on the ground, so much the better. You may need a wideangle lens for this. Alternatively use a more telephoto lens and fill the frame with sky.

Exposure

Set an aperture of around f/11 and the shutter to the B (Bulb) setting. Expose for 10-20 seconds to capture multiple bursts (though if you have a lit building in shot be careful not to overexpose it).

One method is to keep the shutter open and hold a piece of black card in front of the lens between bursts so you can build up a large number of fireworks on a single frame.

Fireworks Leeds Castle

Image: Taken during a fireworks display at Leeds Castle, Kent, which Tim Gartside has included in the foreground.
Nikon D300, 14-24mm, 20 secs at f/11

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