Shooting Fireworks

Summer is a great time if you enjoy a good fireworks show in Japan. There are a lot of summer festivals going on with some cities hosting at least an hour long fireworks display in the evenings. I’d usually go out just to enjoy them, but this year I thought I’d give shooting fireworks a go. You need a combination of various factors to fall into place in order to get a good shot. You would need a good location (notice I have an annoying lamppost in most of my shots), clear skies and the wind blowing in the “right” direction.

As for equipment, a steady tripod and a remote shutter release is a must. Camera settings at Manual, lowest ISO, shutter at bulb. Fireworks are bright so you would not need a fast lens at all. For me I had it between f5.6 to f10 at ISO50. I would suggest experimenting to see what works for you. I think film would be an excellent medium to shoot with if you know what you are doing as there will not be any lag between shots, as with long exposures on digital it takes time for the camera to write to the card before it would allow you to take the next shot.

This is what it looks like if you have no wind or if the wind is not blowing in the correct direction.

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