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Shooting Recipes

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Frankman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Frankman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Shooting Recipes
    Posted: 30 January 2010 at 09:21
Shooting Recipes

I have begun this thread in an attempt to provide readers easy access to the question "how do I shoot ...?" There are already a number of excellent threads on the forum covering a wide range of topics. Wherever possible, I will provide a link to these threads. I'll try to make them as "generic" as possible - readers should be able to apply the settings regardless of which camera they use.

As always, contributions are gratefully accepted from other members.

Regards, Frank

*** Sony A850 * A700 * Minolta 5D and other stuff ***
 



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Frankman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Frankman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2010 at 09:54
Topic 1: Fireworks

Fireworks are actually quite easy to take. The success (or otherwise) is mainly down to selecting a good vantage point well before the show starts.

Lens: Depends on how far away the fireworks will be happening. Always plan to go a little wider than you first expected. A zoom is really useful - it's a pain changing lenses in a hurry in the dark (I know - I've had to do it!). You don't need a fast lens. However, do remove your filter, otherwise you may find ghosting in your images as reflections bounce back off your front element, onto the filter and back down through the front element.

Tripod - essential. If you have one that's not as steady as you'd like, hang your camera bag from it, so that it just touches the ground. This will add a bit of stability.

Remote shutter release/cable release. Really useful. This lets you enjoy the fireworks without having to hold your finger over the shutter. Also minimises camera shake.

Camera settings: I generally shoot manual exposure. ISO 100 or 200 is good. Before the fireworks start, you'll need to set a shutter speed of between 2 to 3 seconds. The exact time depends a lot on how many bursts per second you'll be capturing. Don't get too greedy! It's best to capture a handful of well exposed and isolated bursts, rather than 20 overlaying bursts. Experiment with the aperture until you get a decent exposure on the background buildings/whatever. Then close it down one stop or so.

Ensure you have the long exposure Noise Reduction set to "Off".

When the fireworks begin, take LOTS of images. In my experience, I've found it best to release the shutter just after the initial explosion. Fireworks that explode as you have the shutter open tend to "burn" in.

Be prepared to review your captures quickly and make any changes to either your shutter speed or aperture. Of course, ensure that you're capturing the complete burst - it's better to crop in later than miss the really big bursts. Towards the end of the show, the pace often builds to a "crescendo", with many more shells exploding more rapidly. Look to reduce your shutter speed when this happens (and maybe open your aperture a little to compensate).

Always have a small torch handy, and above all, enjoy the show.

Links:

Dyxum discussion

Dyxum Themed Thread

If I've missed anything, or if anyone would like to add to this topic, please feel free.

Cheers, Frank
*** Sony A850 * A700 * Minolta 5D and other stuff ***
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polyglot View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote polyglot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2010 at 18:01
Most fireworks expose reasonably well at about ISO100 f/16-f/22. They vary of course with the particle speed across your sensor but that's a reasonable aperture to start with. Shutter speed will not affect brightness of most fireworks, just their trail length/quantity... but it will affect background brightness. Matching a background exposure is a good idea (more interesting than just lines on a black field) but it might constrain your shutter speed choices unless you want to cheat in post by compositing.

Long exposure NR will halve the rate at which you get shots... but hot pixels suck. It shouldn't be too bad at ISO100 under 5s though.

If there are any background lights, the slightest camera shake will be obvious. MLU (2s timer) is great if your camera does it and you can predict the show 2s ahead.

Don't be a sucker like me and pick a spot where rude latecomers can come and stand in front of you... because they will if there's room.
C&C always welcome
ex-Pic-A-Day
on flickr
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muddin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote muddin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2010 at 19:15
I have found bulb mode to be quite useful with the aperture set at f8-16, ISO 100/200 and with the lens focused at infinity.

I like to turn off long exposure NR as the exposures are typically about a 2s and shots are sometimes missed because of the delay whilst the NR is taking place. At these exposures, I find that MLU is not really necessary.

Just my thoughts...
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