Sunday, July 6, 2014

Live and Learn (a fireworks photography faux pas--and the fix!)

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I just have to tell you--
when we watch fireworks, photography is not the main thing.  At all.
When you are lucky enough to have a fireworks tradition,
you've gotta go with the flow and just enjoy it together.
Even so, I try to brush up on the basics before we head out.

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I showed up with my camera and tripod.
I knew I could keep my ISO low because fireworks are bright.  I guessed at 400.
I knew a middle range aperture would offer the best detail and color.  I guessed at f/8.
I decided to use a polarizing filter to darken it up so I could leave the shutter open a little longer. 
I glanced at a couple of images very briefly and settled at 1.6 seconds for what appeared to be a good exposure.
I set my shutter to a 2 second timer so I wouldn't move the camera when I pressed the shutter.
On the way over I reminded myself to set my focus and then flip it to manual focus,
and also to turn off VC (vibration compensation, a.k.a. image stabilization)…

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…but I forgot.
Well, I remembered the focus part.
But that vibration compensation--
if it doesn't find any vibration to counteract, well, it manufactures some.
I mean squiggles can be kind of cute, but not EXACTLY the look I was going for!

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About 2/3 of the way through, I remembered no VC, and voila!!

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Note to self:  see how the movement is chopped off?
A slower shutter might be good.
Next year?
ISO 100
Aperture f/10-12
Slower shutter.  See what happens.

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Sometimes it's nice when you can make a mistake and then correct it
for the sake of comparison.
I mean, who really sets out to mess up their fireworks pictures?
So I did it for you.
You're welcome.

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Now will someone remind me to read this next year before the fireworks?

1 comment:

Life with Kaishon said...

I don't even take my camera. I am glad you do. Your firework pictures are gorgeous.