Wednesday, August 15, 2012


A work colleague has just asked me how to shoot the fireworks at the end of the Edinburgh Festival. Here was my reply...

Fireworks are a bit of a nuisance to shoot. There are several ways to do it and I think I've tried them all. Mostly it's a bit hit or miss.

The easiest and more reliable way I've found is this...

1. Make sure you are far enough away to fit the fireworks in the frame. For the ones at the Festival, the Crags is probably a good site.

2. Tripod, tripod, tripod. No exceptions.

3. Remote control helps so that you don't have to touch the camera.

4. Lock the ISO to 200 or less and DON'T leave it on auto.

5. Use shutter speed priority and scroll to about 3 - 5 seconds.

6. This lets the camera choose the aperture.

7. Manually focus on the Castle and leave the auto focus off as it gets confused in the dark.

8. Compose the shot ie Castle at the bottom of the frame. Portrait orientation is often better than landscape for fireworks. It's really just one of those things that you have to try out loads of times and see what works for you. I've even heard of people doing a 30second exposure and holding a black bit of card infront of the lens that they move out the way every time a firework goes off! Good luck Steve!

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