Mostly Everything

3 Different Ways to Shoot Fireworks

I’m posting the three “best” photos I took during the World Pyro Olympics and as far as I can remember, illustrate how I took them. May I reiterate that I am not a professional photographer and that most of the tips I got from shooting fireworks was taken from online tutorials and from Anton. Click on the images for the full size. You can also click here for my Flickr gallery.

Photo Tip Number 1: Catch the trail


This is the ‘Spanish Sojourn.’ To catch the trail, you must make sure that the streak shooting up is very visible to the eye. Using bulb mode and a dark cloth / cardboard, expose when the flare shoots up and expose again (use the dark cloth) when the fireworks are at full bloom.

Photo Tip Number 2: Paint the flower vase


Similar to photo tip number one but applied on a wider scale. The objective is to paint a flower vase. China had several of these in line so I had many chances to get the vase. Again, using bulb mode expose when the vase (bottom) is being created. While still in bulb, shut the lens with the cloth. When each fireworks are shot up, expose depending on how you want the “flowers” to “bloom.” A variety is good. “Paint” several of these by exposing and covering the lens but not too much, because the longer you expose, you are slowly overexposing the vase.

Photo Tip Number 3: Have an interesting foreground


Here is a shot i took of team Philippines’ fireworks display. I wanted to fill in the frame with a lot more interesting subjects so I used the foreground as filler. There were a lot of kids wearing glowing devil headbands so I decided to use them as a frame.

For manual mode camera settings and logistics, click here.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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