We had July 1st in Canada yesterday, and our US friends have July 4th in a few days.
This is from our Canadian July 1st celebrations, in Newmarket, Ontario:
- Mode: Bulb, with remote release
- ISO: 100
- Aperture: f/8 – f/11
- Shutter: 1 to 30 sec; usually 2-5 seconds if there is some background light at all.
- Focus mode: Manual focus, prefocused “where it will happen”
- Shutter mode: One shot
- Camera mount: Tripod (this is mandatory!)
And the usage tips:
- Set up your camera on a tripod, and aim at the fireworks source
- Avoid being downwind (the smoke will ruin some of your pictures).
- Manually pre-focus where the fireworks will go up (or on “infinity”).
- Use wire/radio release, so you do not need to touch the camera.
- Start before or as a particular firework goes up, and hold the shutter open until that one is done (but avoid getting the next one in the picture, unless it is aimed differently). This will usually take 2-5 seconds but can take longer to get light into the background.
Because it was an extremely dark country setting, the venue yesterday needed 30-60 seconds per shot to get any light into the background at all, so you can imagine I was happy that there was a short break between firework volleys going off, so each time I was able to open the lens for 30 seconds prior to the fireworks. Otherwise the background here would be pitch dark.
Try it out – above all, have fun, and happy 4th of July!