Rodney Campbell's Blog

Fireworks in Motion…

by on Jan.03, 2014, under Life, Photography

The Sydney New Years Eve fireworks are always spectacular no matter where on the harbour you find yourself on New Years Eve.

The view of the midnight fireworks from Cremorne Point on Sydney’s lower north shore looking across the harbour to the Sydney CBD, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Midnight Fireworks

Midnight Fireworks

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm, 1.8 to 15 sec at f/11 & f/8, ISO 100 x 17 Frames

The view of the 9PM family fireworks from Cremorne Point looking across the harbour to the Sydney Opera House and the city

9PM Fireworks

9PM Fireworks

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 50 mm, 1 to 18 sec at f/11, ISO 100 x 25 Frames

I’ve posted some tips for fireworks photography before – but to summarise:
– use a tripod and a remote/cable release
– low ISO
– f/8 to f/16
– manual focus
– bulb mode – open shutter just before and close at end of bursts

… but… some other things to consider…
– you don’t want to open the shutter for too long or you’ll get a mass of overlapping and overexposed fireworks (instead of coloured streaks you’ll get clipped white) – it’s very tempting to hold it open for a little more to just get a bit more fireworks in
– pro tip – you also don’t want to have too short a shutter – you might get nicely exposed fireworks but it will be just floating in a sea of black. For these shots with the city skyline in them I wanted enough of the ambient to expose the city as well as the reflections on the water and so on. I look for that break between the end of a flurry of activity and the launching of the next so I open the shutter when nothing is happening giving the ambient some time to expose before the bursts happen and I close

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