Fireworks Photography: You can! (1)

A couple of months ago, the Frog talked about tripods being underutilized and unappreciated.

Well, it’s almost time to dust off the tripod!  July Fourth fireworks are a couple of weeks away.

So, here’s the first part of a quick lesson in DIY fireworks photography.  (Or, you could just buy a picture from Laughing Frog Images !)

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Let’s first talk about what equipment you need in addition to your tripod.

By the way, this post is targeted to digital cameras , and specifically those cameras where you can adjust the shutter speed and the aperture AND you can trip the shutter without pushing the shutter button.  (Many point and shoot cameras have settings for fireworks – if yours does, read the manual and follow the instructions.)

First, you need your tripod!  You simply can’t hand hold your camera for a good fireworks shot – regardless of your camera.

Second, you need a way to trip the shutter remotely.  Depending on your camera this could be an infrared remote control or a cable-connected remote control.  Why is this important?  Simple – you don’t want to cause the camera to move or shake when you open and close the shutter.  If there are any lights in your photo, they’ll end up as blurry lines if you shake the camera.

I have one of each, and to be honest, I prefer and recommend the cable-connected release with a locking button.  Somewhere out there, someone is asking “why?”  Good question!  The cable-connected release with a locking button doesn’t need a battery.  The infrared releases need a battery.  There’s nothing worse than leveling up your tripod, mounting the camera, setting your shutter speed and aperture, seeing the first shot go up, pushing the button and waiting to hear the shutter open.  And waiting.  And waiting.  And, well, you get the point.  The Frog has been there and done that, and kept his thoughts to himself ’cause there were children around.  So, that’s why I have a cable-connected remote shutter release.

Next post: Composition, exposure times, and apertures.  Stay tuned!


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