The 4th of July is rapidly approaching, and some of our American readers may be getting ready to have a go at some fireworks photography. Fireworks aren’t difficult to photograph, but they aren’t something you want to go into blind.
As millions of people around the world were gathering to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks extravaganzas, a fire broke out in a Dubai skyscraper near the iconic Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest structure and the highlight of the city’s upcoming fireworks display.
As the fire spread so did the photos and videos spectators posted online, but one couple decided to take it a step further and took a selfie with the burning building in the background.
While most viewers spoke out against the couple and some gave them the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they don’t know the difference between a burning skyscraper and a massive fireworks display, the online community did not appreciate the smiling selfie.
We Americans are always looking for any excuse to blow things up, whether figuratively or literally. Once a year, though, we have a legitimate excuse to get explosive, and every Fourth of July the skies light up with “the rockets’ red glare.”
Mitch Axness, a system support specialist at North Dakota State University, describes photography as a “serious hobby.” While photographing the fireworks display at Devils Lake, ND, Mitch captured a once-in-a-lifetime image as a bolt of lightning reached out to meet an exploding rocket.
The idea is that a remote highlight will assume whatever shape you punch on the front of a lens. Alexander used the Bokeh Masters Kit to achieve the effect, making fireworks appear as hearts, stars and baseball players, but you can easily create this effect at home without spending any money using some cardboard and a sharp knife.
[FireShapes | Alexander Wolfe]
David Johnson’s photo series of long exposure fireworks with a focus pull technique have gone viral around the web. Many people have been asking about the exact technique and settings, so I thought I’d construct a quick tutorial of how to produce photos like these. This is a How I Took It Contest entry.
In my review of the Seaport Digital MegaMast, I mentioned a few projects that I was just dying to try…well this was one of them.
Stick $4k worth of camera gear up on a three story high pole and shoot fireworks at it.
Ya – simply because I though it would be amazing…and because amazing sells.
Here’s how I did it…
Earlier this month was United States Independence day which means lots and lots of fireworks. For the rest of us who are fireworks-challenged, photographer Andrew Waits provides some insights on how those flowers of fire are built.
Seattle-based Andrew created Boom City – a photo series of cross-sectioned fireworks showing their interiors against a black background.
For me it was a surprise that most of those crackers were actually quite simple – a fuse, a charge and some powder.
With the Fourth of July right around the corner here in the United States, along with other summer celebrations around the world, photographers everywhere will be photographing fireworks over the next couple of months. Many will try, but how many will succeed? Fireworks photos, in my experience, are usually an all-or-nothing proposition. You either get the shot or you don’t. The good news is that there are steps you can take and tips you can follow that will vastly increase your chances of success. This is not a ranking. Missing any one of these elements can mean the difference between a crisp, dramatic photo and an over/under-exposed frame of out-of-focus smoke. Instead, I chose to list our tips for photographing fireworks in the order you’ll need them.
Way back we featured a tutorial about using sparkles and long exposure to lightpaint a car.
Photographer Benjamin Von Wong took this to the next level and sparklepaints a superhero.
The big difference IMHO is the use of flash to freeze motion with the super hero shots.
Checkout a short interview and a behind the scenes after the jump [Read more…]