Monday, 13 April 2015

How to photograph Fireworks

MSC Orchestra in Sydney, Australia. The first visit to Australia by a ship operated by MSC Cruises (Italian). We were fortunate enough to be invited onboard the ship during the day for an inspection and lunch which was spectacularly good. We've been on several of their cruises in the the Mediterranean when shooting for our 4 Cruising the Mediterranean books.This vessel is now on its way to the Mediterranean for a cruise to Gallipoli in Turkey for the 100 year anniversary of the ANZACs on the 25th April. 

Later that evening we took the shot below. This is a composite which was shot on the Sony A7r with a FE 24-70 F4 Zeiss lens. The benefits of using a camera like the Sony A7r is that you have 36mp of information to play which makes the final result still large enough to produce a really large print.

How did we shoot this? Here are the steps for capturing the image.

  1. Using a tripod we composed the image and set the focus in Manual Mode. 
  2. We first took some images without the fireworks that were underexposed for the bright lights in the images such as the front of the ship and also some overexposed images for the Opera House and darker areas in the image. 
  3. Once the fireworks started we just kept taking shots continuously with our remote cable release. Each images was about 10 sec with an aperture of F11. 
  4. Once we had the images in Photoshop it was just a matter of blending the layers together to lighten the shadows and darken the highlights and paint through the best fireworks from each layer.

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Fireworks over Sydney Harbour in Sydney Australia to celebrate MSC Orchestra's first visit to Australia

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