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View Full Version : How do I take good pics of the fireworks?



Juniper
03-11-2006, 01:39 AM
I was wondering what are the tips for good pics of the fireworks? I have a digital olympus d-450 zoom, whatever that means lol, it has 3.2 megapixals, and 7 scene settings: landscape, landscape and portrait, portrait, program auto, movie, self portrait, and night scene. then the flash options are flash auto, red eye, and 2 things I don't know which are lightning bolts, one alone and one in a circle. I don't see anyway to turn off the flash. The night scene mode I don't use a lot because it takes foreverrrrrrrr to take the pic, and I get a blurry pic, I don't have a tripod and it prolly wouldn't be practical anyway.


So anyone know what they are doing who can point me in the right direction on how to set it? I have the manual but it is hard to interupt what setting would look good in this specific area. thanks!!

geoffa
03-11-2006, 01:46 AM
Have alook at this site. Full of great tips:

http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/fireworks.asp

Juniper
03-11-2006, 02:06 AM
thanks for the site, I went to it and the first thing says: You need a tripod. :eek: LOL I knew it, but I still don't want to buy one because in the crowds and stuff it wouldn't help. but thanks!!

mousemom
03-11-2006, 04:03 AM
You definitely want to turn off your flash. I think it is one of the lightning bolt symbols. Just see which one prevents the flash from going off. Also hold the camera as still as possible. If you can lean your elbow against something to steady it that will help. No flash will give your picture a lot better contrast between the dark sky and the fireworks without making the sky look grey. Good luck!

Juniper
03-11-2006, 04:13 AM
hey you were right, the bolt in a circle is no flash, I would have thought it would say off, or have a line through it. I have no idea what I am going, obviously, lol. But really, I do get good photos usually, and I even have some good fireworks ones, just not a lot.

does anyone know what scene setting would be best, besides night, since with out the tripod option I can not get a non blurry photo, I have tried a lot too.

nmjohnston874
03-11-2006, 06:21 AM
thanks for the site, I went to it and the first thing says: You need a tripod. :eek: LOL I knew it, but I still don't want to buy one because in the crowds and stuff it wouldn't help. but thanks!!

You absolutely HAVE to have a tripod to get good pictures. There's no way you can hand hold a camera at long exposures without blurring. Just get there early to set up and the crowds will give the tripod space.Be sure to keep a firm grip on the tripod to steady it in case they don't.

See my photos in my earlier post.

tod
03-11-2006, 07:11 AM
I have gotten the same results bracing against a solid stationary object. I got some good shots of "it's a small world" all dolled up for Christmas by holding the camera steady on the railing. There are street lamps and trash cans everywhere.

Keep the camera steady, yes. But you don't need a tripod for that.

--t

olegc
03-11-2006, 07:33 AM
what about a monopod? travels a little easier and can give you at least more stability than hand-held. $25.00 in some places....

ferliemom
03-11-2006, 01:41 PM
Hi,

I have taken some good (not wonderful, but really good :) ) pictures of the fireworks. Here are my layman's tips:
1. get a good spot, as close as you can, and smack in front of the castle
2. don't use flash
3. hold your elbows in really close to your body and be as still as you possibly can
4. take LOTS of pictures!!! When I say "lots", I mean 50+ easily!

I have done this several times, and gotten a few pictures each time that I really liked.
You may be able to see some of them here:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp?&collid=75349981408.46309603608.1142116562504&page=1&sort_order=0&albumsperpage=12&navfolderid=0&ownerid=0

and here:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp?&collid=75349981408.15429452408.1142116562505&page=1&sort_order=0&albumsperpage=12&navfolderid=0&ownerid=0

Have fun! :p

nmjohnston874
03-11-2006, 05:32 PM
I have gotten the same results bracing against a solid stationary object. I got some good shots of "it's a small world" all dolled up for Christmas by holding the camera steady on the railing. There are street lamps and trash cans everywhere.

Keep the camera steady, yes. But you don't need a tripod for that.

--t
Yes, and a small pocket tripod set on a trash can will also work with limited success. The issue was the op wanting to know if he could get away without buying a tripod, and that's what I responded to. Of course, anything to help steady the camera will work, but nothing as well as a good, solid tripod Besides, there may not be a fence, street lamp, or trash can exactly where you want to shoot, such as my position right in front of the castle. You can take a tripod just about anywhere.

Shinku
03-11-2006, 05:50 PM
I, too, have an olympus. The lightening bolt means "flash on for every picture" and the one in the circle is flash off.

I'll second what everyone else has said here and add: expect a 1:10 ratio. For every ten shots you take, you'll probably only like one of them. Take lots and lots of pictures, way more than you think you'll need.

Mickeymac
03-11-2006, 05:55 PM
I use the rapid shot mode and take a series of five to ten shots, and delete out the bad ones. My camera is set to flash off, no tripod, and highest ISO setting it will go. Plan to shoot a bazillion photos, and ditch what you don't want.

Practice before you go - try shooting cars going down the street (not a well lit street, but not a deserted one either) or if you can see fireworks before you go, try those. Nothing is worse than trying to shoot fireworks, thinking you got it and got nothing, and realizing you spent the evening viewing a spectacular show through a little tiny viewfinder.

Oh, speaking of viewfinders - try to use it for the night shots if you can. Nothing is worse than focusing on the LCD on the back, for yourself and the Guests around you.

DaddyB
03-11-2006, 06:20 PM
The problem with trying to shoot the DL fireworks is the standing people. It makes it almost impossible to get the shots. I got lucky the first time I went to the fireworks because they were still letting people decide for themselved wether they were sitting or standing. Last I heard, they make everyone stand now (unless you're right in front of the rope in front of the castle, so no tripod is going to shoot over everyone's heads.

The last group of good photos I got, I sat right at the rope, and actually had my camera on a tripod shooting under the front rope. I only got away with it because of the very wide angle lens on my camera. It got the whole castle in the shot when other cameras wouldn't have... but the fireworks were also very low and sometimes partially below, the castle.

bassett1976
03-11-2006, 09:38 PM
thanks for the site, I went to it and the first thing says: You need a tripod. :eek: LOL I knew it, but I still don't want to buy one because in the crowds and stuff it wouldn't help. but thanks!!

You can buy small tripods and place it on a trash can. They usually only cost about $10-15.

Gone2Disneyland
03-11-2006, 10:35 PM
I'll second what everyone else has said here and add: expect a 1:10 ratio. For every ten shots you take, you'll probably only like one of them. Take lots and lots of pictures, way more than you think you'll need.
And I guess I'll third what everyone else has said, emphasizing the ratio point. I take plenty of shots (30-50) during the fireworks show (after several viewings, I've memorized the whole darn show by now) and know only some will turn out to my liking. No biggie tho' since I know I can go back often and take more pictures on another time. Tink is always a fuzzy blur, but using the elbows-against-sides trick with the inhale-then-slowly-exhale-then-when-all-the-air's-gone-click method, I basically maximize my chances for decent shots.

I did buy a tripod (because I happened to be in a Big Lots and there was one for $10), but I've never brought it to the park. Yet. But thanks, DaddyB, for your comments about guests standing. Didn't think about that.

stan4d_steph
03-11-2006, 10:38 PM
MousePlanet staff writer Frank Anzalone has some good articles on taking photos. This article was on low light photography (http://www.mouseplanet.com/articles.php?art=mm050810fa).

hbquikcomjamesl
03-12-2006, 05:59 AM
Another consideration is that long exposures on digital tend to increase noise and grain.

In addition to the "monopod" and "bracing against a solid object" ideas (I tend to favor the latter, myself), many photographers get good results from using beanbags.

But whatever you do, DON'T USE FLASH FOR FIREWORKS.

yellowrosedtxn
03-12-2006, 06:57 AM
I haven't seen anyone mention this yet so I will do it. Mouse planet has a really great guy that has a lot of WONDERFUL tips on how to take pictures at Disneyland and other parks. His name is Frank Anzalone and the URL to his article on taking pictures of the fireworks can be found here:
http://www.mouseplanet.com/articles.php?art=mm050810fa

He has a total of five articles out right now on the tips to taking great photos at Disneyland. You can always go to the articles section and look up his name/link and find all the tips there.

Good luck!

Drince88
03-12-2006, 07:57 AM
Ummm, Steph mentioned the low light article just 2 posts before yours, yellowrosedtxn (but I agree, it's a pretty good series!)

Imagineer In Training
03-12-2006, 05:05 PM
we have the same camera...the lightning bolt means flash is on and the lightning bolt with the circle through it means the flash is off

sambo
03-12-2006, 09:49 PM
I got great use out of this (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=240105&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) tripod last October.

It folds up to approx 10" and fit in my camera bag. No problems using it to take night shots. Found it at my local FRY's for $20...