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Firework shows many times are used to celebrate meaningful occasions and so they bring about a myriad of emotions in people for more than just their beauty and that they are magnificent to see.
Figuring out where to aim your camera can be one of the most complicated factors in photographing fireworks. The difficulty lies in that you will typically need to aim the camera prior to the fireworks to be photographed go off. Anticipating the moment is essential. Note the following tips to get your framing right.
Know the locations included in where the fireworks will be held. Planning is vital with fireworks and arriving to the site early will provide you the chance for the best, unobstructed view possible. Remember to think of what will appear in both the foreground and background of your shots. Make sure that people\’s heads will not be an issue and be considerate of your impact on those around you.
Try to determine in what area the fireworks are being set up and into what area of the sky they will most likely to shot into. Check with those who are organizing or setting up for the event if possible for this information if you cannot tell yourself. Also decide on what focal lengths you might want to use and select the right lenses now as opposed to during the firework show.
Watch your Horizons – One thing that you should always consider when lining up fireworks shots is whether your camera is even or straight in it\’s framing. This is especially important if you\’re going to shooting with a wide focal length and will get other background elements in your shots (ie a cityscape). Keeping horizons straight is something we covered previously on this site and is important in fireworks shots also. As you get your camera on your tripod make sure it\’s level right from the time you set up.
There are two main ways of framing shots in all types of photography, vertically (portrait) or horizontally (landscape), so do you shoot vertical of horizontal? You can choose either one. Both can work in fireworks photography but I find a vertical perspective is better, due to there being a lot of vertical motion in fireworks. Horizontal shots can work if your goal is more of a landscape shot with a wider focal length or if you want to include multiple bursts of fireworks in the one shot.
Remember your framing – I find that when I photograph fireworks that I spend less time looking in my viewfinder and more looking at the sky directly. As a result it\’s important to remember what framing you have and to watch that segment of the sky. Doing this will also help you to anticipate the right time for a shot as you\’ll see the light trails of unexploded rockets shooting into the sky.
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