Photographing Fireworks

I have always been interested in photography and especially capturing fireworks but until recently all I ever really used was a point and shoot style camera. Normally, this type of camera doesn’t give you the best shots. I say normally because, on July 4th I set up to capture the show using my new Cannon T3i and @ihearttampa used her iPhone and captured some pretty good shots of her own.

 

I attached my EFS 55-200mm (kit) lens to my Cannon T31 and set 55mm (I really don’t know why I chose this length). I set the focus to manual and focused to infinity. I learned this from several YouTube videos I watched in the morning and quickly learned I should’ve watched more videos. It was at this point I thought I was really setting the camera. I moved the selector to Manual and begin to tinker with the shutter and aperture, all I can really say for sure is, I set the ISO to 100. Everything else is a blur and once again I realized, should’ve watched more videos.

Once the first fireworks burst into the air I quickly positioned the SLR in the direction I felt would give me the best frame and composition. I briefly looked into the viewfinder and felt I had the right angle but after reviewing the shots I should’ve spent more time in the framing and composition part of being a photographer. Oh well, live and learn and even with all of the errors I made I still think a few of the over 100 shots I took came out pretty good.

The interesting part of the whole process was that I really thought I set the shutter speed to 2 seconds but when I started capturing the image the SLR just did whatever it wanted to. Sometimes it would shoot less than a second and sometimes it would take almost 30 seconds to capture the image. While it would be nice to know, I really can’t remember if I left the selector in Manual or moved it to some other position. When the show was over I just automatically moved the selector back to [A] Auto, big mistake.

 

Anyway, below are some of the best images captured during the night. I am pretty pleased with some of them but what is weird to me, some that I felt came out decent have exposure settings all over the place. Anywhere, from less than a second to up to 20 seconds, why?

Prior to the fireworks show I was trying to capture the downtown skyline at dusk. This was my favorite shot of the evening. A view from the USS American Victory looking SW across the channel to Harbor Island, Tampa. Notice the fireworks in the background on each side of the photo.

 

This entry was posted in Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *