One way to enjoy sparklers and fireworks is to simply observe them as a spectator. It might also be fun to blow a few things up yourself, but as a photographer one can do what photographers do best and that is to create beautiful images using time exposure.
Evan, from PhotoExtremist.com, shared his amazing video and tips:
1. Tripod: Put your camera on a tripod.
2. Manual Mode: Put your camera in manual mode and get ready to set all the variables: Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, and maybe flash.
3. Shutter: Adjust the shutter speed to BULB mode or a slow shutter speed of your choice. You could also try using a remote or a shutter release to reduce camera shake, if you wanna go totally pro with it.
4. Aperture: Adjust your aperture. You can experiment until you get the result you like, and then you can just leave the aperture alone if you are using the same sparklers. California candles are much brighter than sparklers though, so make sure to tighten up your aperture somewhere around f/11.
5. ISO: I like to leave my ISO number as low as possible to eliminate noise.
6. White Balance: Use a cool white balance because sparklers are very red. Try using Tungsten or Florescent, or the lowest number in Kelvin if your camera allows it. Mine goes down to 2500.
7. Flash: Using a flash will freeze your subject while preserving the long motion of the sparkler trails. If you do not use a flash, you will only see the sparkler trails. If you use no flash and also use a very wide aperture with a high ISO, then you will be able to see the sparkler trails AND the environment will be illuminated from the sparklers.
8. Post- Production: You can also post process your images to make psychedelic patterns in Photoshop. Visit my Sparkler Long Exposure Tutorial on my blog to find out more about this secret trick.
Here is of the final Shots:
This tutorial was brought to you by our regular contributor Evan Sharboneau (bottom left). Evan just released a pretty cool eBook: “Photography Tricks and Special Effects” it’s packed with unique techniques and mind-bending photographs: if you happened to be interested, grab a copy here.
What Long Exposures have you created during this festive season? Post you shots using “Share your Shot” link in comments box below.
Evan Sharboneau is the Author of Tricks and Special Effects Photography eBook. A Mind-blowing photography resource featuring 270 pages and 9 hours of tutorial videos. Edition 2.0 is out: To learn more click here.