Don't Move the Tripod: Take several photos of the fireworks display with an interesting foreground and don't move the tripod. Don't move the tripod an inch. Why? These images can be blended in Photoshop into a layer blend. The result will be the same foreground but multiple bursts of fireworks in the sky. I'll post directions in a couple of days so stay tuned.
Isolated Burst: A photo of an isolated burst of color in the sky is a nice thing. Use your telephoto zoom lens to cut through the clutter in the foreground. A 75-300mm lens or a 72-200mm lens is perfect for isolating a burst of fireworks against the night sky.
Take some photos with an interesting foreground and burst of fireworks in the background like you see above. Your 18-55mm lens or 15-85mm lens works well for the basic shots. Then change your lens during the display and photograph some isolated bursts in the sky.
In another post I will show you how to copy those isolated bursts. This is a way to add bursts of colorful fireworks where none appeared in the original scene.
Motion Blur: Photographers are always pushing the edges of image making. Photographers are now taking one image of a fireworks burst where part is in-focus and part is out-of-focus. Check out this image to see how this technique looks. Here's a how-to article.
My simple instructions. Have the lens focused when the burst of light hits the sky. Then gradually move the lens out-of-focus when the sparkles are falling and fading. Try starting with the image out-of-focus and then move the focus ring so the last bits of light are in focus. Either works and yields a slightly different photo.
High-Dynamic Range: Try an HDR image with fireworks in the sky. That means take a series of jpg images at different exposures. The first image would have the meter balanced, the second image would be over-exposed by one stop, the third image would be two stops over-exposed, the fourth image would be one stop under-exposed, and the fifth image would be two stops under-exposed.
That is five images with no change in f/stop. The only thing that changes is the shutter speed. Five images:
- Light meter balanced
- Light meter +1
- Light meter +2
- Light meter -1
- Light meter -2
These image will be blended later in Photomatix, Photoshop, or Nik HDR Pro.
Lots of ideas for your 20-minute fireworks display. Come back tomorrow for instructions on processing the layer blends, copying isolated bursts, and processing HDR images.