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Old Jul 3, 2011, 10:02 PM   #1
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Default Settings for fireworks?

I have a Canon Rebel XS with basic lens. I was curious what setting, ISO and everything would be best for taking shots of the fireworks? This is my first year with a DSLR camera and any information would be great, thanks!
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 11:01 PM   #2
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I'm not 100% sure on the settings to use but do use a tripod OR have your hand resting on something to have the camera as steady as possible. If you have a remote shutter as well, that would be beneficial. You'll also probably want to use Manual Mode rather than A/P/TV mode.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 11:46 PM   #3
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I just got home from fireworks and had good results with the settings below, culled from a combination of online sources. As previously suggested, a tripod and remote release are essential. If you don't have a remote, use the 2-second delay I'm hoping your XS has. I was using a T1i.

  • ISO 100
  • Manual (M) mode
  • Aperture f/8 to f/13. Start in the middle, and adjust if the shots appear over- or under-exposed
  • Shutter on Bulb setting if you have a remote, or on 2 seconds if you don't. Again, play with longer and shorter times.
  • Zoomed out enough to include buildings of natural objects to give context.
  • If possible, position yourself upwind to avoid smoke drifting toward you.
  • If you have a remote and Bulb setting, start the exposure as soon as or just before (if you can tell) the burst, and end the exposure just as the burst begins to fade or drift. Experiment with holding the shutter open long enough to capture multiple bursts.
  • If you are relying on a timed shutter speed and 2-second delayed firing, click the shutter as soon as you think the cannon shoots the bomb into the sky.
  • Take as many shots as you can and sort them out later. Save some time for saying "Ooh! Aah!"


Last edited by requa; Jul 3, 2011 at 11:52 PM. Reason: image
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Old Jul 4, 2011, 12:15 AM   #4
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Thank you both very much!
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Old Jul 4, 2011, 9:36 AM   #5
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These are the best I got, But there is more fireworks tonight for me to try again.



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Old Jul 5, 2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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I took some decent (imho) of fireworks using the sports setting on my T1i with the 55-250 kit lens. It also enabled me to shoot a lot of pictures rapidly so I could sort them out later. I shot freehanded, which is probably a no-no.

I shot in large file format and I can't crop enough to get the file size down to where it fits the limits of the thread. I'm a rookie, so I have much to learn.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 2:27 PM   #7
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I think the folks running our fireworks display have been worried about fire, with the dry conditions we're having, so we had a pretty monotonous string of simple globes, fired off one at a time, and a really short cluster for a finale. I haven't uploaded my pics yet, but I was taking them from the nearby airport ramp with my XSi, with shutter settings between 2 and 3.2 seconds.
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