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Old Jul 5, 2005, 7:59 PM   #1
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Tell me what you think of the composition in these, please. I'm not sure what to think. I like them but... I don't know.








The second one reminds me of a dandelion.
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Old Jul 5, 2005, 8:15 PM   #2
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Palm trees and Dandelions, what a combination! Great shots. There must have been a breeze blowing judging from the way the flames are moving to the left.

I can see palm trees in both shots and definitely a dandelion in the second. These migh be just slightly overexposed. Less exposure might have brought out the colors more. You didn't say how you exposed it.

Nice work.

Cal Rasmussen

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Old Jul 6, 2005, 1:35 AM   #3
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Well, I set the aperture to 5.6 and played with the remote. I basically did the same thing as before I just upped the f stop.

These are from the same night as my others but I had changed the settings when I realized that the pictures where a little too bright. I wasn't sure which were more correct but it looks like these might be a little better exposed. (exposed better?.. you know what I mean hehe)

Cal, let me ask a question... ambient lighting? Like street lights, city lights, and things of that nature, do they effect firework shots? I was surrounded by very bright lighting on the ground. Is it best to find someplace darker to set upwhen shooting these types of shots? Will it effect exposure?

And yes, you are right. There was a breeze blowing in from the south off the coast. I hope these hurricanes hurry up and go where they are going to go. My vacation is scheduled for next week in New Orleans.

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Old Jul 6, 2005, 9:59 AM   #4
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When shooting fireworks, manual exposure generally works best. In any case, if the ambient light is not visible to the lens, it shouldn't affect the metering or the shot. The problem with ambient lighting is reflection from the smoke produced by the fireworks. This is why it is best to shoot early in the show, especially if there is no wind.

f5.6 seems a bit wide open for fireworks. At ISO100, f16 is probably best with the shutter in bulb (B) mode. I am not familiar with your camera so I don't know what settings you have available.

Hope I have answerred your questions.

Cal

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Old Jul 6, 2005, 2:06 PM   #5
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Hmmmm... why would you say f16?

When I came home I broke open the books to see how close I was to doing this right or wrong (hehe) and thought I was close to the right settings.

The booksays for aerial fireworks, try 4 secs at f/5.6 (ISO 100)

This was an interesting bit of information:

"For aerial fireworks, it's eaisest to keep the shutter open using B setting, so that you can make the exposure last as long as the rocket. Frame the shot loosely, (but I like to break that rule) since you cannot be sure how high each firework will go. Several bursts can be combined in one frame by covering the lens with a piece of black cardboard or cloth between each explosion. (I didn't try that but it sounded like something neat to try)"

On Exposure it says, "Exposure can be hit-and-miss because of the contrast between the intense light of the subject and the dark shadows. However, when taking a reading, do not point the camera at the center of the light, as this will create an underexposed shot in which the trails of light are weak. It is better to have the centers of the light source slightly burnt out. Experiment with a range of shutter speeds, and, if possible, bracket the exposure.

Ok... that isthe info I have, Cal.So I'm curious as to why you would pick a aperture that is so much smaller (f16 vs f5.6). Wouldn't thatmake a huge difference in the shot? I mean wouldn't you have to leave the shutter open a lot longer for the same effect?

I'm still learning, Cal so please be patient with my one hundred and one questions.:-)

Oh and my camera is a Nikon D70 so it iscapable of higher f-stops.

Edit: come to think of it... I could see where the higher f stop would have worked better where I had the mall and the palm trees in the shot. The depth of field was smaller so it blurred the foreground a tad. But why would it be better for plain fireworks?
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Old Jul 6, 2005, 3:21 PM   #6
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Shooting fireworks is a totally different game than any other type of night shooting. Fireworks are very bright. They only last a few seconds. They have colors that change as they burn. The settings I gave in the challenge description came from an instructor in many classes I attended. He is an outstanding photographer and has been doing it for far longer than me.

It is from him that I learrned the trick you described of holding the shutter open and covering the lens to minimize vibration. His standard rule was f16 at ISO 100. The lowest ISO on your D70 is 200. Since ISO 200 is twice as sensitive as ISO 100, I would expect to have to use f32 to compensate. However, I have seen a number of shots posted here in the past two days that were shot at f16 and they looked great.

The problem with exposure on fireworks is capturing the color of the burst. If the lens is open too much, the burst will appear white with most of the color washed out. You asked if you need to hold the shutter open longer. In shooting fireworks, the time you need to hold the shutter open is dictated by the duration of the burst. If you don't hold the shutter open long enough, you won't get the full expansion of the burst. If you hold it open too long, you get the smoke and embers.

I think the thing that is hard to understand here, is the relationship between f-stop and shutter speed. In normal day or night shooting, the two parameters are directly related. If you increase shutter speed, you have to open the lens to compensate. If you close down on the lens, you need a slower shutter to give the same exposure. When you shoot fireworks, the relationship between shutter and aperture doesn't apply. The only things that affect your exposure are ISO and f-stop. The light produced by fireworks is short duration but bright. You need to hold the shutter open long enough to capture the entire burst. During the time the shutter is open, any point in the image illuminated by the burst is only going to be lit for a very brief period of time. During that time, that point will be very bright. Since you are going to be holding the shutter open, the only control you have on exposure is ISO and or f-stop.

f5.6 might be OK for ISO 50 but you can't go there.

I hope this is slightly more clear than mud. The instructor who taught me this is Mike Riches at Portland Community College.

Cal Rasmussen

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Old Jul 6, 2005, 4:13 PM   #7
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Ah-HA... I knew you had a reason for it. I just wanted to know the reason so it would all make more sense. And it does now, thank you.

I was thinking like the light would be harder to capture than it is. As in a dim lit neon glow from a far away distance. But fireworks are brighter than I gave them credit for. Gotcha Now.

I learn so much from you guys.
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