Fireworks at the Fair

Fireworks at Middlesex County Fair, August 3, 2009 (Opening Night)
Fireworks at Middlesex County Fair, August 3, 2009 (Opening Night)

I wish I had read Mason Resnick’s post on Fireworks Photography Basics before going to the fair. And I also wish I knew how to use the continuous shooting mode on my camera inside and out, instead of trying to hunt for it in the dark and running out of time. Maybe next by July 4th I’ll be prepared.

Mason writes:

Exposure tips

Aperture: Most photographers use ISO 100 and an aperture of between f/8 and f/16. The smaller aperture intensifies the colors of the fireworks and prevents overexposure. Experiment and see how the different aperture setting changes the look of your image.

Shutter speed: Use your camera’s “B” (bulb) setting. Start your exposure at the moment the burst begins, and end it when the burst reaches its peak. How long is long enough? For a single blast, a second or two should be sufficient.

Some photographers leave their camera on B and block the lens until there’s a burst, and repeating the process over several bursts. This results in a multiple exposure that can fill the frame with fireworks. Read more.

For more photos of the sky, visit Skywatch Friday:

Sky Watch Friday
Sky Watch Friday

19 thoughts on “Fireworks at the Fair

  • For my 14th July series I used the fireworks settings I had just discovered and mostly it worked.
    I like your shot even if you didn’t quite used the settings you have liked to use.

    • Canon Powershots have a fireworks setting. What I really needed was the continuous mode, because you can’t tell when the explosion is going to happen. So my other photos had lots of little lights, but this was the only big burst I got.

  • You made me smile, Leora. I keep saying I’ll learn the same things about my camera before the next fireworks display. LOL And every time I mean it…but still haven’t. I bet you’ll beat me to it. 😉

    I think your shot turned out very well.

    • It’s just a week. They have them all over New Jersey, each week in a different county. I haven’t gone since my boys were little. And for my husband and daughter, it was their first time. It does get awfully crowded, so if you don’t like crowds…

  • lol – I have just had a new camera for my birthday. I had my last one for 4 years and never got around to reading the manual. Will definately read this manual soon!

    Nice photo and different from all the sunsets!


  • I have missed so much in a short time Leora. That water park looked like so much fun and yes, the one slide was a bit scary looking..My lobelia that I had in a container did so poorly that I won’t buy it again. It’s too bad as the butterflies seemed to like it…Thank you for the Twitter lesson as I didn’t know any of that stuff at all….Your county fair reminded me that our county fair is coming up soon. Usually it is so hot, that I don’t try to attend, but maybe since it has been colder, maybe I will be able to this year…Your fireworks photo reminds me that I am only half-way through a book about my camera. Time to get back to it..PS..You daughter is adorable, but you knew that…Michelle

    • Michelle, I am always so happy when you visit. Just because you are you, I guess. You really read posts like you are getting to know someone. A gift, I believe, that you have.

  • I think you’ve gotten a pretty good shot Leora! The burst and the smoke!

    I can read my camera book but I’d really like someone to show me. I learn better that way.
    Thanks for the tips and the links. Like you said -next year….

    • Yes, I like this one, too, but if I knew my camera better maybe I could have gotten ten really good ones … (now I know where the continuous mode is and that I have to set it to P and continuous mode doesn’t work on Auto … must try it out, too)

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