Firework has been used for celebration across the globe for thousands of years. No matter if it’s New Year Eve or Independence Day or an Olympic Ceremony or some other festival, we use colorful fireworks to celebrate these events. Did you know that Americans light about 175 million pounds of fireworks during the 4th of July, which is equivalent to about 100,000 lightning bolts?
So, in this high speed photography tutorial we are going to learn, how to capture the next colorful firework show that is happening in your city and save it forever. We are going to use MIOPS Smart Camera Trigger for it which is the best high speed photography equipment. Let’s find out what else we need to do.
Plan in advance:
Firework show happens on some special occasions. Check out the dates of next show in your city so you can save the date and don’t miss it.
Select the location:
When you know that date and place of the next show, go to that location to find out the spot where you are going to place your camera and shoot the event. Make sure it has lots of open sky and some interesting elements in the foreground and also have a chat with the local authority about the availability of that place for shooting.
Let’s talk about camera settings. We are going to use DSLR camera with a wide-angle lens for this shoot along with MIOPS high speed photography camera trigger. Set your aperture to f/8 and ISO to 100-400. Shutter speed needs to be around one second to capture the entire burst of firework.
We have two ways to capture firework. We can open the shutter for a long time and capture multiple bursts of firework in a single shot. But long exposure is not advisable as we need very low lights in the foreground and there are fewer chances of getting a perfect shot. It may be overexposed or camera may shake while the shutter is open and it can ruin the entire shot. You’ll also find it hard to get black sky due to light and smoke.
The second method is to take one shot for the foreground and multiple shots of firework and merge them in post-processing to make our final shot. This method is more effective because you will have lots of firework photos and you can select the best one and add it to your shot, also if a shot is overexposed or shaken, you can discard it and use another one.
Reach the place a little bit early so you can secure the best place to shoot firework. Set your camera on a tripod with manual mode. First, we’ll take our base shot of foreground. Focus on the foreground and take a shot. Make sure the sky is black in this shot otherwise you’ll have difficulty adding fireworks in post processing and also there should not be any water body in this base shot otherwise you need to add the reflection of firework in water and it required some advance post-processing skills.
When you’ve taken your base shot, change the focus to infinity and wait for the firework to start. Meanwhile, attach MIOPS high speed camera trigger so the camera will capture the firework automatically while you are enjoying the show.
Set MIOPS to the lightning mode and change sensitivity to 20-25%, connect the camera with cable and now you are free. Every time firework will burst, the camera will capture it. When you have taken enough shots, change the camera position and take shots from a different perspective.
Download all the images to your computer and select the firework shots which you want to add to the base shot. Again, we are going to use Photoshop® for this. If you don’t have Photoshop®, you can download a trial version from Adobe website.
Open your base image along with 5-6 best firework shots which you have selected. The easiest way to do it to place all these pictures in a folder, open Photoshop®, click on File >> Scripts >> Load Files into Stack…, browse and select images. Make sure both checkmarks at the bottom are unchecked (see the screenshot).
When you do this, your all photos will be added to different layers in a file. Drag your base image to the bottom if it’s not already there.
Now hide all layers except the base one and select the layer that is just above the base layer and unhide it. Change its blending mode to “Lighten”. By doing so, the only firework will be visible and rest of the things will be hidden automatically.
Repeat this process with all other layers and you’ll have your final image with multiple bursts of fireworks like you saw on the internet.
Once you are satisfied with your picture, merge all the layers, and export your image. Now share it all over the internet and don’t forget to share them here too.
Related Article: https://www.miops.com/how-to-take-extraordinary-lightning-photos/
About the Author
Ramakant Sharda is an author, iOS App publisher, passionate photographer and a MIOPS Ambassador based in the beautiful “Pink City” of India, known as Jaipur. His work has been published in various magazines, newspapers, and blogs. He has published three Coffee Table Books, he writes about photography and also teaches photography in his workshops. Check out his website http://ClickManic.com to see the masterpieces created by him or download his free app for iPhone and iPad “30 Days to an Ace Photographer“.