Capturing fireworks is challenging on all levels, mainly manual focus, white balance, smoke free, composition, and setup. Last week I had the opportunity to shoot the Jounieh International Festivals fireworks debut and I tell you the whole experience wasn't easy. I had to commute 2 hours in traffic jams to only arrive 5 minutes before launch and to find out that the place was so crowded that I couldn't manage to get a perfect spot to plant my tripod.
- Exposure mode: Manual
- Focus Mode: Manual (you want to focus to infinity)
- Shutter speed: 2 sec to Bulb depending on the scene you want to make
- Aperture: f/9
- ISO: 100
- Lens: the wider you can afford
- Drive mode: Single shot
- White Balance: Daylight
Consider those additional tips:
- A tripod is mandatory to avoid camera shakes. You cannot achieve the results handheld.
- To assist you with Manual focusing, use autofocus on the first rocket splash, then switch to Manual thereon.
- In this case only I wished I had a cable release instead of using the 2 sec timer. The shutter cable release would have been quicker.
- To capture the maximum number of air bursts, start the exposure just as you see the fireworks depart from the ground.
- In post-processing, increase clarity and sharpness or make use of Photoshop layers to sharpen the point of interest only.
- You can also use Photoshop to make a compositing scene with multiple photos taken.