This is How I Shot Fireworks: Legally

 This is how I shot fireworks... and no I don't mean going to a fireworks stand clearing off a spot in my driveway and firing off dozens of (illegal) fireworks. Where I live most of the really fun fireworks-- anything that shoots up into the air -- have been deemed illegal. So not only are they hard to find but illegal to own. So, I'm going the safe route. I'm taking pictures-- get it-- shots of fireworks. As it turns out it's pretty easy, but only if you do a little research ahead of time, stick to your plan and have a little patience.
    A few things you'll need to know about:
       Shutter Speed
     Basically, you'll have to switch to manual mode and prop your camera up on a tripod for this one.
     I set my aperture at 12 or 13. That's because i was pretty far away from all of the action. I could see the fireworks from my home. That's not the case in many situations, plus i would have preferred getting a lot closer in order to place some notable landmarks or people in the shot.
     Shutter Speed ranged between 1.5 seconds and the max of 4 seconds. When you get past 4 seconds too many fireworks will get involved in your picture and either over expose your picture or create a messy mass of white light.
      Exposure was set at zero. No big reason here. But importantly and surprisingly ISO was set at 100. Fireworks put off so much light that you won't need to tap into the higher end of  your DSLR's ISO availability.
   Tripod was key (a good one.. not a cheap one). My son was kind of running around trying to get in the picture.. I was trying to stop him.. and none of the pictures came out blurry.
    So here's what I got. Let me know what you think. It was a pretty windy night.. So that gave some of the fireworks a pretty cool looking effect..  
    One last thing: Depending on how close you'll be to the fireworks, you might one to invest in a telephoto lens. My little 15-55 wasn't cutting it, so i had to do some significant cropping.


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