Sydney Fireworks

I achieved one goal for the fireworks this year, i got to see the fireworks from both the western side of the bridge and the eastern side, standby for my patent on tele-transportation in 2018 :)

The fireworks are always interesting but to the fireworks head honcho explosion maker/decider can I make a few suggestions.
1) given that you guys are struggling with the invention of smokeless fireworks can I suggestion rather than a rolling display break it up with a few small intervals, only a few minutes to let the smoke clear a bit :)

2) The first sequence of fireworks is the one where you get the best shots because of the smoke issue :) and lets be honest here just about every person watching the big bang has a camera so that a big part of the display :) hence makes sure the first sequence counts, I liked the numbers this year but really they made crap pictures ;) 2014 and 2015 were much better :)

3) I note you have taken notice of my suggestion from last year.. but i'll suggest it again.. because.. you can never have too many blue fireworks :) they are awesome in my opinion :)

4) feel free to contact me for some consultation :) i'll trade for a awesome vantage point next year :)

btw, check out the first picture with the 'top-hat' firework.. now thats pretty damn cool, hats off to you explosion engineers for that one ;)
The last 3 are from the western side of the bridge..

In Album 01/01/2018

Share on Google+Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on Pinterest

13 thoughts on “Sydney Fireworks

  1. FYI, I have had a few people ask about settings etc for fireworks shots.
    A few key things:
    – tripod, yep thats pretty obvious.. but make sure its on something sturdy, sadly alot of my shots have wavey fireworks due to the camera/lens shake which was due to the place where I set the tripod, it had a bit of vibration :( and when your shooting a long way away a small amount of vibration can impact badly.
    – set focus to manual and focus before the show starts.
    – use a remote, either the infra-red button or a cable one, as long as it opens and closes the shutter thats all that is needed.
    – if you have VR / OS image stabilisation on your len, turn it off… gets me every time ;)

    Camera settings:
    Manual mode with shutter set to bulb (basically one press of the remote opens the shutter and the subsequent press closes the shutter.)
    Aperture is typically f8-f14, a safe place to start is f10
    Shutter speed, this is the only variable you need to control, typically most shots will be from 1 second up to 4 or 5 seconds depending on the firework display.
    The shutter speed is very dependent on the fireworks and you have to watch the fireworks to see what colour/brightness they are and adjust this shutter speed as needed. Basically there is a lot of 'chimping' (set your display to show blinking highlights) and adjusting the shutter appropriately.
    As a general rule always expose so that the fireworks are not 'blown out' as much as possible, once you over expose the fireworks the colour of the fireworks is gone. I typically under expose to retain the colours.
    ie. for the blue fireworks, these can handle a longer shutter speed than most and hence you can get some lovely trails with these and maintain that awesome colour. Typically you can get a 3 or 4 second exposure on these.
    green and white colours tend to over expose easily so anything from 1 second to 2 or 3 seconds seems to work ok.
    Red fireworks typically are very bright, most of mine are from 1-2 seconds for these.
    There is also a technique called 'Black Card' where you can open the shutter for 30 seconds or so and place a black card in front of the lens when there are no fireworks or very bright ones.. kinda like manually controlling the shutter outside the lens :) I have had mixed success with this and I typically opt for blending individual shorter shutter speed frames as needed. Blending is easy now in PS, simply use the 'lighten' mode on the multiple layers that you have.

Comments are closed.