Photos of the Day: Fireworks Fail

 Playing with the exposure rate  (6 seconds)

So, I probably won't admit this often but I'm not good at taking fireworks photos. At least not yet. You'll see from the photos below my philosophy going in.. was to bring leave the aperture alone and bring the exposure up to about 2 seconds or more.     What I found out with this camera is that even though i sent the exposure for a certain time.. the exposure time.. ended  up being pretty random.
this is  a 15 second exposure.
For example, the picture above was with a 6 second exposure.  
  The picture right below this was taken with a 15 second exposure. I missed a lot of good fireworks waiting for the camera to take the picture then save the picture to disk. All of the fireworks photos were taken on the 1600 ISO setting. I tried to use the highest fstop possible, but wound up with something between 3.5 and 5.0. I also wound up with some horrible pictures, good pictures, but no awesome pictures.

What does all the FStop and Exposure rate stuff mean when the fireworks start flying? First of all, make sure you have a tripod. Second, if you turn the exposure rate up on a regular scene. It allows more light to flow into the camera. But light is always moving and cameras are set up to only need a split second of light to create a picture. 
2 second exposure
   The longer you keep the iris open the more light accumulates on the film or in the camera until all you see is white light. The trick with Fireworks is to keep it open long enough so that you can get the trails of the fireworks without winding up with a big white out spot in the middle of your frame.
      So what's the solution? Well my aperture settings weren't high enough ( should be much higher that my high aperture of f/4) , My ISO settings weren't low enough (should have been at 100 or 200), and my exposure rate should have been between 1 and 5 seconds. Now, I have to find some fireworks this weekend to try it on.              

15 second exposure

too much light, 15 second exposure

 this is close to the perfect shot. But, it lacks perspective or anything on the ground to anchor the photo to. I should have framed it up so that i had a mountain in the for ground or some people.


bad again

cool look

almost perfect

borderline too much light

bad again

cool with a 13 second exposure
On this picture i like that the people in the foreground are ghosted out and the fireworks are shining in the background. Maybe its hit or miss because this was a very long exposure... 13 seconds and it cam out pretty nice.


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