Shooting Fireworks at the Pyromusical Competition: Part II

by Eyre Austero 16. March 2010 22:49

     To further hone my skills in fireworks photography, I once more went to the SM Mall of Asia last March 14 to watch the last day of the 1st Philippine International Pyromusical Competition.  Unlike last February 28, my experience that night did not go as smoothly.  For one, the area was so  jam-packed, limiting my movement.  The moon was also nowhere to be found forcing me to look for an alternative method to ensure that my focus is set to infinity. What I did was to focus on some distant bright light sources in the hope that this will do the trick.  As this activity required me to remove the camera from the tripod, this somehow led to the worst thing that happened to me that night (and with me as the main culprit).  Almost half of all my shots were partially tilted (from the horizontal plane) due to my failure to double  check whether my subject is still properly framed or not after returning the camera back.  

     Things might not have turned very well that night but I'm actually glad that it happened.  The valuable lessons that I've learned will surely be of great help for me in averting potential disasters in the future.

     Here are some of my fireworks photos taken that night. To view the camera settings used and my other fireworks photos, please refer to Part I of this post.



Photography | Fireworks

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Shooting Fireworks at the Pyromusical Competition

by Eyre Austero 3. March 2010 20:39

     As a newbie in DSLR photography, improving my photographic eye and skills is my topmost priority. So whenever an opportunity presents itself, my natural instinct is to jump right in to get my hands dirty so as to learn in the process. It is this same instinct which led my feet to the SM Mall of Asia to shoot some fireworks during the February 28, 2010 schedule of the 1st Philippine International Pyromusical Competition. The competing countries (on this date) were France and Japan.

     To get the most out of this event, I did not go to the place empty-handed. Instead, I gave myself more than a week to gather some useful tips and practices on how to best shoot fireworks. As a start, I went to the venue an hour earlier than the scheduled start of the event. This is for me to secure a nice spot for taking photos.  To avoid camera shake, all photos were taken using a remote switch and with the camera mounted on a tripod. The UV filter was also removed to prevent getting ghost images of the fireworks. Camera used was the Nikon D5000. Lens used was the kit lens (18-55mm VR).

     Let me now share with you the camera settings that I used.  Be forewarned 'though that some settings might be camera-specific.

  • Long Exposure Noise Reduction: On
  • Flash: Off
  • Vibration Reduction: Off
  • Active D-Lighting: Off
  • Focus: Infinity (As suggested in some forums, what I did to achieve this is to focus on the moon then to switch to Manual mode afterwards.)
  • Autofocus: Off (Well I did this because it is said that the brightness of the fireworks and the haze of the smoke confuses many auto focus systems.)
  • Mode: Manual
  • Shutter Speed: Bulb (This is to give me better control over exposure time.)
  • Aperture: f/8, f/11 (This is to have greater depth of field.)
  • ISO: 200
  • Image Quality: Fine
  • Metering: Matrix

     And now, let me present to you the result of my first try, ever, at shooting fireworks.  


      For more tips on how to shoot fireworks, please visit this link: http://camerani.com/how-to-photograph-fireworks/


Photography | Fireworks

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