I thought that I was very much prepared for photographing fireworks during the fiesta. I had done my homework, brought along a tripod, a wireless remote trigger, set my ISO to the lowest I can find, use bulb mode in shutter settings and still one very unfortunate change of plans caused me the nicer photos which I should be able to get, which was positioning.

I’ve asked the organizers where they are going to let off the fireworks at, and went to set up too close to the action. In the end the fireworks went off and flew directly above me. And I had to change my angle and shoot directly upwards. Should have stuck to my previous planning to shooting from a further away location.

Map

Another problem which suddenly came was that the wireless remote didn’t trigger at all. I  think it might be because I used live-view on the camera and with all the fireworks going on, it was unable to focus at a particular point so it didn’t trigger. Tried the remote trigger in a fixed place and it worked though. Perhaps should consider using manual [infinity focus] next time. Or I might want to get a cable shutter release instead.

Will definitely redeem myself in the next fireworks display [most probably in August during the International Fireworks Competition in Putrajaya]

Anyway here are the [very few] shots I took

Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010 26

Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010 27

Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010 28 Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010 31

Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010 29

Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010 30

A lot of people commented that this last shot looks like coconut trees @.@

Anyway some tips on photographing fireworks

  1. Use a tripod. Fireworks happen at night and if you won’t want to use hand held camera unless you can be static and not move even a bit during a period of 5-10 seconds. Place your camera on a sturdy tripod.
  2. For simple digital camera, turn setting to fireworks predetermined settings. If you don’t have that settings or if you want to be adventurous, use manual settings and do the following. Set your ISO to the lowest setting possible [this is important to make your photos sharp and noiseless, you won’t like to see grainy fireworks photos], set your shutter speed to around 5-10 seconds [this is very dependent upon the type of photos you would want. If you want the trials of the fireworks to seemed long then a longer shutter speed will take in details over a longer period of time. But do remember that increasing shutter speed will cause more light to enter and possibly cause overexposure as well. The photo below shows a very overexposed fireworks photo.]

    Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon 2010 1

  3. Use timer. This might be a bit tricky but if you can use set the timer to take the photo in around 2 seconds and then predetermine the moment the fireworks will be release and later take the photo, it will minimize the chances of shakes caused by pressing the shutter button.
  4. No flash. It won’t help. Really.
  5. And perhaps the hardest thing to do is to know how to frame the fireworks. It might be hard to actually predetermine where the fireworks will fly once they are up in the air so it may be a good idea to scout the location beforehand for a good vantage point [I fail at this in the above shoot]. A good vantage point will be a place where you can take the whole fireworks action. Perhaps from that point you can try to zoom [even though not recommended] to select out bits of fireworks which you want to take.
  6. Use a remote release [only apply to those with DSLR]. Press once for the camera to take the photo, especially when the fireworks starts to fly in the air. And press the second time to end the shot, preferably after you seen the streaks of light disappearing or after you are satisfied with your shot.
  7. Take loads of shots. You don’t really have to pay to keep clicking and snapping away. Keep taking photos. Even if most of them turn out bad, there will still be a few which are acceptable.

For more information on fireworks photography, do visit this site

Cheers and hope you enjoy taking photos as much as I do 🙂

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