Okay, before we get to the fireworks, let's take a look at the BULB mode. You'll find the BULB mode if you continue to dial in the shutter speed setting when you get to the 30 second mark. You may even have a separate BULB setting on your camera.
The BULB mode allows you to determine your own shutter speed, even to infinity. Extremely useful if at 30 seconds you still have too little light, then BULB is your solution. However, it has another special feature and we need it for fireworks photography. Incidentally, photographing lightning works the same as fireworks. So two birds with one stone!
How does it work?
In BULB mode, you decide when to start recording and when to end recording. You press the button, the recording starts, you press the button again, the recording stops. So you can start recording and stop recording right after the fireworks (or lightning). A remote control is handy and recommended to avoid motion blur from pressing the shutter button. You'll get some additional tips along the way.
Other tips for photographing fireworks
- Turn off the image stabilization on your lens (including autofocus).
- First, determine a good composition and place your tripod in the desired location.
- Set your desired aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I recommend an aperture between F8 and F14, for a large area of focus. Keep your ISO as low as possible, fireworks themselves give off a lot of light. A shutter speed between 1 and 5 seconds should be fine.
- Always take a test photo first and judge if it is good.
- Use the infinity sign to focus manually.
- If you change your composition or settings, refocus.
- Use the BULB mode to have complete control over shutter speed.
- If you have a remote, use these.
- Include the environment in your composition. Fireworks are beautiful. In perspective with, for example, a part of a city, it comes into its own even better.
- En last but not least, stay safe!
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