Work out the best position based on the weather - ideally upwind from where the fireworks are being launched to avoid smoke between you and the fireworks. Look for features like a reflection off water that would add interest to the scene.
Be there early to claim to your spot and set up your tripod – extend the legs and keep centre column as low as possible then adjust the legs to ensure your tripod is level – you don’t want crooked horizons.
There is going to be a certain amount of readjusting and fine-tuning the settings over the course of the fireworks show but make sure you have your settings locked down by the time the show reaches its grand finale.
One of the most important things when it comes to shooting fireworks is timing. Always keep an eye out and get used to predicting when a firework will burst – you don’t want to capture it taking off or when it has finished. You want to photograph a firework as it makes its colourful burst. With some practice you will be able to record some stunning and attractive images.
This will likely take some experimenting. Get the "writer" to stand with their body centered and directly facing the camera/tripod. They need to hold their arm outstretched to the right and write backwards from right to the left. (The camera picks up the writing left to right!). Cursive works the best! The camera picks up all of the sparklers movements, so you can’t stop to create space between letters. Keep the sparkler flowing and moving consistently and loopy!
In practice, the person lighting the sparkler would light it and then move out of the way back to the camera. The person writing would simultaneously position their hand where they wanted to start and tell the photographer that they are ready. The photographer opens the shutter. When the writer finishes writing they should just keep their hand still (holding the sparkler) until it goes out.
HAVE FUN !
for OLYMPUS OWNERS ONLY:
Many Olympus cameras have the Live Composite feature that allows you to create a long exposure or multiple exposure image without having to worry about overexposure.
Live Composite starts off by creating a “base exposure” of your scene, and once that is locked in, moving forward for the duration of the exposure, only changes in light are recorded to that base image.
Shot by Olympus Visionary Mike Boening. OM-D E-M5 Mark II, M.Zuiko 14-42 EZ F.3.5-5.6 II. F7.1, ISO 200.
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