In this post appears shoot from Pirotecnia Zaragozana v/Miguel Perez Nevela incredible show, where the he won the fireworks competition at Silkeborg Ildfest Regatta’s amazing European Fireworks Contest 2017.
PREPARE, Make sure your batteries are well-charged, a cold night has impact on the capabilities of your batteries. Memory card needs have a lot of space as well, expect to shoot well over 600 photos. A sturdy tripod and a remote/interval meter is much needed. I like to arrive early for the fireworks, and get a good site near the water front, try to anticipate the height of the fireworks and distance, to it and set your manual focus at a building or light which is at that distance.
Pay a attention to the outlook, you might want to bring an umbrella or a plastic bag to shield your equipment and yourself. I usually have a microfiber cloth to remove rain driblet from the lens.
POSITION YOURSELF, Firework displays are normally set to ‘face’ a certain direction so the spread is visible to the crowd. This means you need to position yourself where the main crowd will be, not off to the side. Also, fireworks make a lot of smoke, so make sure you’re upwind, so that your shots aren’t obscured by smoke blowing toward you. Find a spot where you can avoid getting a lot of extraneous ambient light in the picture, as this will cause an overexposure.
Expect people to arrive late and press themselves in front of you, ensure that wherever the tripod is set up is safely out of the way of other people tripping over it. I like shoot with a few other photographers, we normally place our tripods very tight, so that the legs of them creates a barrier, while still allowing for people behind us to see the scenario. Shooting with a friend is not only good company, but also practical while you are often in a crowd. and you and your friend can act as a shield to ensure other people don’t walk into your camera shooting while you’re looking upwards.
TECHNIQUE, To catch fireworks is “long” shutter speed needed, I usually play with speeds between 1-5 sec, it much depends what i want to gain. The ISO I usually set between 100-200, depending on the magnification that is needed, be careful to get it to high or clouds might get to illuminated and your pictures to grainy. it’s a good idea to experiment a bit. Even if you got a fast lens it is wise to stop it down to moderate f/5.6 to 10, it is also a good way to adjust if your fireworks gets to under or overexposed.