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

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.

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