Take your tripod
You’ll need to keep your camera perfectly still so it’s best to use a tripod and make sure that you set up your tripod on stable ground, and shield it from any wind. You can of course put your camera on a table.
That really depends on what you are thinking your image should look like.
- Telephoto – 70-200mm will get you detailed shots of the fireworks but you’ll need to keep your camera trained on the right part of the sky at the right time, and it can be easy to miss.
- Wide angle – 24-70mm will capture the entire skyline but won’t offer a lot of detail in the image.
If you have no foreground subjects you can get away with pretty much any aperture, from wide options like f/2.8 to narrow options like f/16.
If you have subjects in your foreground or the fireworks are relatively close to your position, then you’ll want to use a narrow aperture, perhaps anywhere between f/8 and f/16.
Remember, the narrower aperture will widen the depth of field, ensuring that the fireworks andthe rest of the scene will turn out sharp.
What shutter speed?
That all depends on what type of image you’re wanting to create.
- Fireworks which show slight trailers – choose a slower shutter speed try ¼ or lower. Although I’d not recommend going into 2 seconds or longer as you’ll end up with lots of blown out highlights
- Sharp crisp action images – choose a faster shutter speed
I always recommend having your ISO at 100 or up to 400 – only raise the ISO if your exposures are turning out too dark.
Remote control your camera
- A remote release which connects wirelessly to your camera and lets you trigger the shutter from a distance
- Use your camera’s two-second self-timer although you’ll need to anticipate the fireworks bursts
- Use your cameras app to control the camera
Turn on manual focus
Turn off auto-focus as your lens may struggle in the dark to find the right focus point.
Simply, when you see the first burst of fireworks, manually adjust the focus ring until the scene appears sharp.
Now you’ve got your focus point for the rest of the fireworks show BUT do periodically check your images to make sure they are turning out nice and crisp and make any necessary adjustments.