D.C. Fireworks and critique

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JDDavis, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. JDDavis macrumors 65816


    Jan 16, 2009
    An earlier poster put up some Boston fireworks shots that were great and I wanted to do the same. This was the first time I really "tried" to take good shots and not just take snapshots of the fireworks. I was on the Virginia side of the Potomac and used a tripod and a wireless remote. I used my D90 and the Nikkor 18-200. ISO was 100, aperture was f/14, and most of the exposures were 2-5 seconds. Focus was set to infinity.

    Critiques are welcome as to how to do better next time. I like them but something kind of bugs me about the fireworks. Maybe the exposure were too long. Not sure:confused:.

  2. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010

    Your Images look great, & your exposure looks balanced, across all your shots. I like being able to see the lights on both the Monument & the Lincoln Memorial. Image #5, works for me. You've got Color & Burst', but you also have trails going up into the sky. Makes for a very well composed scene.

    Shooting Fireworks, comes down to two things in my book, practice & weather. Just keep shooting, any and all Fireworks shows, that you come across. You will figure out what works best for you & your style. OTOH, the weather aspect, your at the mercy of the weather. :)

    If its really windy, it can make the burst' look like crap. I've shot fireworks on nice calm nights, which then causes the smoke to linger :(, and I've shot fireworks, where you'll have a 5 MPH wind, which is perfect, for helping move the smoke out of the way, while your capturing the next burst.

    Only things I would suggest possibly changing, are switching to Bulb mode, and using Mirror Lock-up. By using MLU, you eliminate almost all vibrations caused by both the slap of the shutter & vibrations moving through your legs, unless your shooting surface is vibrating you & the camera, at which point using MLU is moot. Also using Bulb mode, lets you control the length of your shutter, instead of the camera doing it for you. I've shot Fireworks, where burst' are not very bright, and it might take 10 seconds to capture some good colors & details. But, I've also shot Fireworks, were 10 seconds & even 2 seconds will result in totally blown out images. :eek:

    But generally speaking, shooting Fireworks, all comes down to Practice, Practice, & more Practice. :)
  3. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    I'd agree that your shots look great! Nice work! I was going to make this my year to go and practice shooting fireworks, but had to scrap the entire idea when I ended up in a crowd on a rooftop.

    I was at the same fireworks display, but since I saw it from a very different vantage point, it's pretty nice to see it the way you did. I'm jealous you had a tripod -- I was lucky to squeeze off a couple of shots handheld with my D80. None of them were exactly sharp, but I think the one I've attached shows that the wind blowing the smoke was just about perfect for shooting from where you were...

    Attached Files:

  4. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 16, 2009
    It was a good spot. It wasn't planned with taking pics in mind, it's just where we ended up. I liked having the river there for the reflections. Looks like I lucked out with the little bit of wind too. You were pretty high up and south it looks. Was your ISO really high or did you still have some sunset left from your vantage point. The tripod and remote are definitely a must. It would be neat to shoot them from a different vantage point next year.
  5. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    Still a lot of sunset left from my vantage point. The picture's pretty true to the colors I was seeing. I had auto-iso set to max out at 400 (which it did). Shutter speed was 1/5 of a second. Thinking back on it, I think I accidentally left VR off. Whoops.

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