On Saturday night, I photographed a totally fun Christmas party for the Wasser Family. This was the 25th year in a row that they have done a Christmas party to celebrate with their friends. So, this one was special for them. They set up a fun background with stringed lights behind white fabric with some silver trees and champagne for photographing couples as they arrived. Later during the party I printed the portraits and put them into cardboard ornament frames for the Wassers to give their guests as gifts. Unfortunately, I didn’t think of it at the time, but I should have photographed the printed images in their frames once they were complete so I could show you how smashing they were. The prints were a big hit. There was also some great food, a live singer, and some super cute elves to greet guests and take their coats. A great time was had by all!
So, I made recent inquiries (to the Loudoun Photo Club and on Twitter) for tips on photographing fireworks since July 4th is quickly approaching. I thought I would consolidate the advice I received into this post, test it out, and then show the resulting photos from this weekend in a future post. Thank you to all who sent your suggestions! Feel free to add more to the comments.
- Use a tripod to keep the camera steady.
- Get to the display early to find the best vantage point.
- Consider having foreground or background elements in the image as they make the scene more interesting and add scale.
- Use manual focus and focus on an object close to where the fireworks will be set off from.
- Plan to take lots of photos and delete about 75% of them.
- Set shutter speed to “bulb” mode. This allows you to keep the shutter open while you press the button and the shutter won’t close until you release the button.
- Use a remote or cable release instead of the on-camera button to prevent camera shake.
- Open the shutter when the rocket starts it’s flight and close as the firework explodes so there is not a gaping black whole in the center of the firework. Should be about 2 seconds, but can range from 1/2 second to 5 seconds. Keep the shutter open longer to have multiple bursts in one image, but not too long or you’ll end up with “big blobs of light.”
- Most recommended setting the aperture to f/8, but the suggested range was anywhere from f/8-f/11.
- Set White Balance to Tungsten.
- Set ISO to 200.
One person recommended this page and which seems to have some good information: http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-photograph-fireworks
Have a very happy and safe Independence Day!
UPDATE: Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to photograph any fireworks this year. So, I’ll have to wait until next year to try out these techniques.
Well, the second snowfall of the year has been a little overwhelming to the state of Virginia. Deucehartley jokingly coined the hashtag “#dcsnowpocalypse” on Twitter to describe the snow storm as it approached our area. It started snowing around 9 p.m. here in Alexandria on Friday, and it’s still snowing. Some parts of the DC area are reporting as much as twenty inches of snow! Compare this picture that I took this afternoon around 4 p.m. with the one from my previous blog entry.
This past weekend my husband, Nick, and I spent the weekend at a very cute bed & breakfast called Brampton Inn in Chestertown, Maryland. Unfortunately, it rained the entire weekend, but we made the best of it by checking out the little Maryland town, building a fire, spending lots of time snuggling, and eating delicious food.
This weekend my husband, Nick, and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary by spending the weekend in Norfolk, Virginia. We enjoyed a dinner cruise and fireworks from a cruise boat, a festival in the city, and an afternoon at Virginia Beach. It was a great time!