By choosing a high Quality-setting you will reduce the amount of compression applied to your images. JPEG compression degrades image quality and can even introduce artifacts into your image. This is a particular problem for this subject matter because compression artifacts are typically found in areas of high tonal and color contrast, like the bright colored light of fireworks bursting against an inky black sky. Less compression means fewer image artifacts and ultimately better image quality. Unless you have a top-of-the-line pro DSLR, don’t expect to be able to take photos of fireworks with a digital camera in RAW. Your camera will likely take too much time to write the image to the card and you’ll miss getting some pictures.
Back to basics:
Whether you’re advanced or not, there’s one more “trick” for you to consider. Why limit yourself to just one rocket’s glare? What about keeping your shutter open long enough to capture the glare of a few rockets exploding in air one after the other. To accomplish this, experiment with longer time exposures — ten seconds, 20 seconds, and even longer. You can get some dazzling results!
To sum up our fireworks, don’t let any of the complications examined in this article discourage you. Firework is easy to take and make great photographs. Just remember the five Fundamentals: 1) Slow Shutter speed 2) Small aperture 3) Use a lower ISO 4) A Solid Platform 5) Composition 6) Use the highest quality setting.
While shooting, be aware that most firework displays have a rhythm that usually ends in a multiple burst of glory. If you want to limit the amount you shoot, hold back for this Grand Finale. But be wary. It may happen before you realize it…and then it’s too late! So be sure you’re ready for it. If the fireworks have a musical accompaniment — like Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture — you can hear it coming. But often, you can’t anticipate the Finale, so we can only admonish you to follow the Boy Scout motto — Be Prepared!
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