Fireworks are an enduring thrill, even in this high-tech, special-effects laden age and it’s natural to want to capture the beauty of the fire in the sky. But if you’ve ever tried to take photographs of it, chances are you’ve been disappointed with the results. I know I have been.
Thus, I’m glad to find this web page: How to Photograph Fireworks. Some of it I knew, others are common sense, but there are other tips I didn’t think of before. For example:
Shutter Speed - Probably more important to get right than aperture is shutter speed. Fireworks move and as a result the best photographs of them capture this movement meaning you need a nice long exposure. The technique that I developed when I first photographed fireworks was to shoot in ‘bulb’ mode. This is a mode that allows you to keep the shutter open for as long as you hold down the shutter (preferably using a remote shutter release of some type). Using this technique you hit the shutter as the firework is about to explode and hold it down until it’s finished exploding (generally a few seconds).