How to shoot Twilight – Shooting Fireworks

Fireworks are a perennial favourite subject for photographers, and Guy Fawkes Night is the best time of year in the UK to shoot them. You’ll need a sturdy tripod and a remote release. 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.

How to Shoot Twilight - Tim Gartside

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

Alternatively use a more telephoto lens and fill the frame with sky. 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.

How to Shoot Twilight - Craig Roberts
A spectacular firework display over the River Thames. Canon EOS 5D, 28mm lens , 20 seconds at f/11. ©Craig Roberts

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. How to shoot Twilight - Settings
  3. 3. How to shoot Twilight - Towns & Cities
  4. 4. How to shoot Twilight - When to Find the Perfect Light
  5. 5. How to shoot Twilight - Shooting Fireworks
  6. 6. How to shoot Twilight - Capturing Reflections
  7. 7. How to shoot Twilight - Lights In Motion
  8. 8. How to shoot Twilight - Rural Landscapes
  9. 9. How to shoot Twilight - Using ND Grads
  10. 10. How to shoot Twilight - Useful Accessories
  11. 11. How to shoot Twilight - Hints & Tips
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