Sunday, September 5, 2010

More Experimenting with Fireworks Photography

Labor Day Fireworks

I have wonderful neighbors that look for any excuse to launch fireworks.  This being Labor Day weekend seemed to be one of those perfect excuses.  No complaints on my part – they are always entertaining, and another opportunity for me to experiment further with photography.

Labor Day Fireworks-2

My experimentation comprised two components; 1) rather than my normal choice of a wide angle lens (17-40 would be my natural choice, or 24-105 if I were further away), I stuck with my committed relationship to my 50mm, and 2) rather than stick to my recommendation of a 5 – 8 second exposure (see my recommendations for shooting fireworks - “Independence Day Fireworks”), I extended the exposures to 30 seconds.  All of the photographs in this post were shot with my Canon 50mm f/1.8 II at ISO 200, f/5.6 and 30 seconds.

Labor Day Fireworks-3

As is normally the case, I was happy with the use of the 50mm.  Nice sharp shots even with the long exposures.  However, I did not have enough room to get the shots I wanted and keep all of the bursts in the frame.  A wide angle is certainly a better choice when you are up close and personal with the display.

Labor Day Fireworks-4

I was pleased with the results of the longer exposure.  By extending the exposure time, I was able to draw more color and definition from the background and introduce a strong gradient in the sky which in turn highlighted the horizon.  This combination provides greater context for the fireworks.

Have fun, and go make some great photography.


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