06-12-2013 11:50 AM
I also have a canon rebel EOS T3i. I would like to learn how to use my manual mode for fireworks. I also would like to know the answer to this question: Does the type of lens I have influence how I take pictures?
06-12-2013 11:55 AM
No, lens doesn’t really matter with fireworks. But as I said above, I really recommend a tripod.
Personally, I'd recommend fireworks as a great time to learn about photography and shoot in *gasp* full manual (the "M"). It’s really not that complicated.
If you have to use an auto mode then I’d use Tv and move the exposure compensation down, a lot. If you let the camera set your exposure for you, it’ll try to use an average exposure, not too dark, not too bright. But with fireworks you have a whole lot of black black background, and some really really bright colors. Not good for auto-exposure. If your camera has a night mode that might work, but I don’t really know much about the auto-modes.
In manual mode turn your aperture to a nice safe middle position – say f/8. Most people want long exposures so they can get all the fireworks in one shot, but you need a tripod for this. IF you have one, put it on it, and use a long exposure, say 2 seconds. Then move your ISO all the way down to 100, this will give you the cleanest images. If the images come out too bright then move your aperture UP (say f/11), if they’re too dark move it down (f/5.6). I know this might seem complicated, but it’s really pretty easy, and you could learn a lot in the process.
If you don’t have a tripod, then you’ll need to use a much faster shutter speed, say 1/60. For that you’ll have to move your ISO up significantly to compensate.
06-14-2013 09:07 PM - edited 06-14-2013 09:14 PM
For this kind of photography, it is essential to have no movement of the camera at all. Here are the settings that have worked for me:
1. Tripod - this is an absolute must for any kind of night photography, including fireworks.
2. Cable release - since you can move the camera just by pressing the shutter release, you have to activate the shutter without touching the camera. You can do this either with a cable release or with an infrared trigger. Be sure to get the correct cable or remote for your camera since they differ from one model to another.
3. Use manual mode and activate Live View whenever possible. The flipping of the mirror within the camera can also generate movement, so Live View is very helpful.
4. Use an aperture of f/8-f/11.
5. Use ISO 100.
6. Focus at infinity - you can manually zoom during the exposure for an interesting effect.
7. 4 second exposure to start and adjust up or down based on your results.
8. You will likely need a wide focal length such as 35mm to start, and then adjust as necessary if you have a zoom lens.
9. Other possible adjustments - set the White Balance to 5300K; set the exposure compensation to -1.0 EV. This is a full 1-stop underexposure to keep the firework highlights from burning out.
I haven't posted photos to this forum before, but if this works, here's an example of what I mean. This was shot last summer with a Canon 60D, 4 second exposure at f/11, ISO 100, 32mm.
06-14-2013 09:46 PM
Sorry to reply to my own post. You can find a much better version of this photo here:
06-14-2013 10:17 PM
06-14-2013 10:24 PM