Whether it’s good or not, slow is actually the key
Why is it a good time to shoot fireworks during the New Year? The reason is simple-universal. Fireworks and fireworks are generally invisible at other times of the year unless they catch up with major celebrations. During the New Year period, more people can set off fireworks by themselves, and naturally there is a much greater chance of taking pictures. Brilliant fireworks, rich colors, this may be one of the best subjects for shooting during the New Year.
Whether the fireworks are good or not, this may be your biggest feeling. Every time I see a beautiful firework, I will sigh from the heart: it is so beautiful. But when I started shooting, it was not like that at all.
Now that we talk about shooting fireworks, let’s first talk about the most basic question: Should I use a high-speed shutter or a low-speed shutter when shooting fireworks? Many people think that fireworks will bloom quickly and end quickly when hit in the air, so they think of shooting with high-speed shutter and high sensitivity. In fact, to shoot beautiful fireworks, what we really need is a slow shutter speed.
Many people use high sensitivity with a higher shutter speed when shooting fireworks, which is actually a wrong setting.
In fact, slow door delay is the correct way to shoot fireworks.
What is the reason for this? With high-speed shutter, we can only record the sparks of fireworks burning, instead of the linear light appearing in the photo. Unlike videos, we want to show the splendor of fireworks in the photo, and we need to rely on long exposure to make the fireworks display. The firelight draws its shape in the picture. Therefore, if you want to shoot the fireworks in full bloom, a slow shutter speed becomes a must. Therefore, when you are shooting fireworks set off by others, slowing down your shutter speed is the primary factor.
A tripod is necessary, leaving room for wide-angle sky
Speaking of the most basic shooting method, let’s talk about shooting preparation and basic shooting settings. Let’s talk about equipment preparation first, and first talk about the most important accessories for fireworks shooting. Now that we have talked about using a slow shutter speed, a tripod is essential. A stable shooting platform is necessary for shooting fireworks or firework shows. If there is no tripod, shooting fireworks in the city, using stable locations such as lower windowsills or guardrails is also possible.
After talking about the most important accessories, let’s talk about the problems of shooting equipment. In fact, there are no obvious restrictions on firework shooting in the body. From full-frame SLR/mirrorless to small-bottom card DC cameras. can. Because we use a longer shutter speed to shoot in actual shooting, the sensitivity is low, and various cameras perform well under this premise.
The most important thing for shooting equipment is the choice of lens. Of course, this is also determined by shooting distance. For example, it is close to shooting fireworks, so an ultra-wide lens is used, which is usually the best choice. Because the wide-angle can ensure that we leave enough space in the sky when shooting. And if your shooting distance is indeed very far, then the middle telephoto focal length is also available.
Why do we need a lens with a wider focal length? The reason is simple. Fireworks need a certain amount of space to rise in the air. After the fireworks are turned on, the area occupied in the sky needs to be predicted in advance. No one wants the fireworks to fly out of the viewfinder in the photos taken by themselves, which is really embarrassing.
On the premise that the distance is reasonable, a wide-angle or ultra-wide-angle lens is a good shooting choice.
Therefore, the biggest advantage of using a wider lens for shooting is that enough space can flow out to ensure that the fireworks have enough space to unfold, so that the fireworks photos taken will be more beautiful.
Preparing the necessary remote control equipment can also make our shooting easier.
In addition to the above, it is recommended that you consider preparing a shutter release, because in many cases it is impossible for you to predict the time of the fireworks from flying up to blooming. If there is a delay in the shutter release time, the loss will be great. Of course, in addition to this, if the camera supports Wi-Fi wireless remote control, it is recommended to use wireless remote control when shooting to maximize our shooting success rate.
10 seconds fixed shutter, interval shooting has many benefits
Once the preparations are complete, you can start shooting. The fireworks display time must be after sunset, so naturally we don’t have to worry about the problem that the sky is too bright and the fireworks display cannot be seen clearly. All we need to do is find a good shooting location, support the tripod, and wait.
There are also some particulars about shooting parameter settings. For long exposures, we still use the native minimum sensitivity value of ISO 100 (some cameras use ISO 200, and the minimum native sensitivity is enough. You don’t have to force ISO 100. ), this is also to ensure image quality. But in terms of exposure time control, we are not performing long-term exposures of “how long you want to expose”. We need to control the exposure time of each photo between 10s-15s. Of course, the most important thing: shooting in RAW format! Shoot in RAW format! Shoot in RAW format!
Why is it specially set to such an exposure time? Our firework shooting is actually to record a light painting effect of the firework from rising to unfolding on a photo. Therefore, a too long exposure will cause too many smoke bouquets to overlap in the picture, resulting in a very messy picture.
In addition, the more important point is that the brightness of the fireworks is actually quite high. If the exposure is too long, it will cause the fireworks to be partially overexposed, and this will also cause the fireworks in the photo to be overexposed. Everyone knows that even in RAW format. In the post-processing, the ability to repair highlights is also weak, so it is necessary to ensure that the exposure of the firework subject is normal.
And because we limit the ISO value and shutter exposure time for shooting, the aperture value used during shooting must be correspondingly larger. From the actual shooting experience, set the aperture at f/8.0-f/11. Some friends may be worried that the depth of field for shooting in this way is not enough. Here we need to understand that our purpose is to shoot fireworks, so the most important thing is the integrity of the fireworks. We only need to ensure the depth of field near the fireworks. The depth of field is shallower, and the details in other parts of the picture are not so rich, which is actually acceptable.
All the above are ready, we can wait for the fireworks to shoot. There are several options when shooting. One is to control the camera’s shooting by wireless remote control or a shutter release, and press the shutter according to the firework you see.
The other is a more simple and rude way-interval shooting. Most modern mirrorless/mirro singles and SLRs already have interval shooting (or time-lapse shooting) functions. The advantage of this shooting method is that the number of photos taken is large, and under the premise of a fixed camera position, more shooting materials can be obtained, and in the post-organization, more photos can be obtained relatively.
The icing on the cake in the later stage, the stack of fireworks is more gorgeous
After hard shooting, we also got fireworks photos that basically satisfied us, and then the post-processing part of “enhancement”. Normally, the post-processing of photos taken by fireworks is relatively simple.
Because it is usually a long time exposure, the main thing we need to deal with is to ensure that the fireworks part of the shot has the correct exposure, in addition to the necessary brightness adjustments for the foreground and background to make the overall picture look more balanced. In Lightroom or Camera Raw, you need to depress the highlights and improve the dark parts to make the light of the whole photo more comfortable than it looks.
The main thing I want to introduce here is to use photo stacks to make fireworks look more colorful. When we are shooting fireworks, the problem that is easy to encounter is that there are often only one or two clusters of fireworks in the sky, and the overall photo will appear monotonous, lacking highlights and features. At this time, the photo stack function can make up for this problem.
First, we choose the basic photos we are ready to use, and make the necessary adjustments in Camera Raw (such as the highlight/shadow processing mentioned above), and then open it in PS, and then we use the statistical function in the script to perform stack processing . When stacking, we choose the maximum value for stacking (because the firework is the highlight part, the maximum value is selected).
After the Photoshop stack calculation, the fireworks part of the selected material photos will be stacked together to enrich the fireworks part of the picture. And if the collocation is reasonable, the fireworks of different colors can be concentrated in the same photo, so the quality of the film will naturally be further improved. Of course, the premise here is to ensure that the camera is fixed at the same camera position for shooting (the position of the photo is exactly the same), otherwise the stacking will not be completed.
During the New Year, if you want to shoot beautiful fireworks, you might as well try the method here. Of course, everyone should also pay attention to safety when shooting, and happily take photos you like!