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Old Dec 13, 2006, 11:14 AM   #1
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Our big Christmas present for the kids this year is going to be season passes to Disneyworld. We are making this a long weekend and going up tonight to get the passes and spend four days at the parks. I don't know that I plan to lug the Slingshot and K100 around all day at each of the parks but I would like to take a stab at photographing one of the nightly fireworks shows.

I have not tried fireworks before and I was hoping someone could offer suggestions. Is it possible to shoot fireworks handheld or do I need to bring in the tripod too? What starting settings might be recommended? I know the conditions will dictate exactly the settings to use but if most peopel are using 6 second shutter speeds I will know not to try 1/500 as my start.

I would appreciate any advice. The main purpose of this is not photography so I will probably only drag the camera in one evening and I would like to get it right.

Thanks,

Tim
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 3:21 PM   #2
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For succesful fireworks shots a tripod comes in very handy.

The trick is to mount the camera on the tripod and turn the noise reduction OFF (you'll be using very long shutter speeds, and since the NR takes just as long as you held the mirror up...)

use a wideangle lens and try to get a nice frame around where most of the explosions take place in the sky.

place a piece of plastic of cardboard in front of the lens so that no light can enter it.

Then go into bulb mode and (preferrably with a remote) hold down the shutter.

Whenever a blast becomes visible, remove the piece of plastic from the front of the lens and then put it back.

After some experimenting, you should be able to get decent shots, as well as shots with multiple explosions in 1 shot.

I read about this trick from someone else on this forum, I can't remember his/her name though, but credit for the idea goes out to him/her
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 5:33 AM   #3
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i use black card in front of my lens to stop light getting in
but as long as it is black and held close to the lens any thing should be ok
a tripod is essential (unless you want to go for something arty lol)
i find overexposure can be a problem like on this one



plus these days it is easy to add different bursts together on the computer


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Old Dec 14, 2006, 5:45 PM   #4
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you have to remember that bulb mode drains batteries very quickly. I remember reading somewhere that going past 20 minutes on fresh batteries is as long as you can.

if you're quite far away from where fireworks go off or you want to capture only explosions try longer lens. I took mine with tripod (a must) cable release with 2 sec delay, 210mm lens at f8 and 4 sec exposure.set focus manually to the point where they go off ant keep shootng. if it's big display you should get a lot of good photos. I got 10 keepers from very short and not professional display using this method.

bulb mode and black cardboard should produce better results but better take couple extra sets of batteries.
I'd post some examples but photobucket doesn't work for me today

greg
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 7:51 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I am checking in from my Orlando. Solid heavy rain tonight but hopefully tomorrow I will be able to put these tips into action. Thanks again!

Tim
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