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  1. #21
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    During long time exposures for multiple displays I sometimes hold a card in front of the lens until the display explodes so I can eliminate in camera the flash bombs that are very unphotogenic. This also reduces the exposure build-up of any skylight.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseontheloose View Post
    Hi John,

    Others have given you some good advice already. I may be too late to offer any more but here it is regardless. ;-)

    Shooting fireworks is not an exact science. Set your lens to f/8 or f/11, focus at infinity, and keep the shutter open for as long as you want. Even though I have a shutter release I like to keep the shutter open for a long time and cover it with a hat or black cardboard to get the best bursts onto the same piece of film. It also allows you to control how much of the burst you want to see. This is important with light/white-coloured fireworks, as they tend to blow out quite quickly. Fireworks of other colours tend to be more interesting visually and you can often get the whole burst in detail.

    I almost always shoot fireworks with normal slide film. Tungsten will give you paler, softer colours, which I quite like but don't shoot a lot of.

    And, of course, keep at least one roll of film ready for the fireworks at the end of the sequence, which will probably be the most stunning. I always end up shooting multiple rolls on the beginning stuff and then have very left for the end.

    I have quite a few fireworks pictures but they aren't all accessible to me here in Japan. But here are a few examples of different films in Ottawa on Canada Day and at the Miyajima Fireworks in Japan.

    The first two in Ottawa are on Portra Tungsten film, the third on Provia 100F. The ones in Miyajima are also on Provia 100F.
    Thank you! Wow, what great photos! Thank you for the examples on different films. I have about 2/3 of a roll of Ektachrome 100VS left in the camera, so I will make sure finish that roll up quickly at the beginning so I can change rolls before the finale. I'll probably break out one of those Ektachrome 64T rolls to use at the end.

    I'll be sure to post some images when I get them back. There's not an E6 lab where I live and the only one I'm familiar with is Dwayne's, so it might take a week or so.

    John

  3. #23

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    Well, as promised, I got the photos back from Dwayne's today. I shot these using ya'lls great advice on Ektachrome 64T film using my Canon A-1. While I'm sure it could have turned out better, I'm very pleased with my first effort at photographing fireworks. I'd be interested in hearing from you veteran photographers if there was anything that turned out well or anything I could do to make future efforts better.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    John
















  4. #24
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    You don't need mirror lockup because it won't make a visible difference with exposures of that length. It works best for the slower instantaneous shutter speeds, not for longer manually timed ones. But you do need a tripod, and I'm not sure how that will go over at a baseball game.

    I use ISO 64 speed tungsten films for fireworks. I usually cut the film speed in half so that I can use one aperture larger than those normally recommended for fireworks, and also double the exposure time. (Normally this would cause a two stop overexposure, but it doesn't work that way when combining ambient and burst exposures, as the exposure time does not effect the brightness of the bursts; only the aperture does.) Then I have the film pulled one stop when it is processed. Doing all this reduces the contrast, giving you more in the shadows. I think with cityscapes that f/5.6+1/2 to f/8+1/2 for 20 to 40 seconds has worked well for me with ISO 64 speed film rated at 32 with a one stop pull. However, at a baseball game, you may actually be able to get a good meter reading, as opposed to guessing ambient exposure times like you often have to do with cityscapes, and you should go with that (still using the downrating and pulling technique).

    Remember, the shutter speed controls the ambient exposure and the number of bursts in the shot; the aperture determines the brightness of the bursts. The pull processing will affect all tones, but especially the bursts and mid tones. If you want to boost the lower tones even more in relation to the bursts, keep your aperture the same and extend your exposure time another stop. This would be kind of like rating the film at 16 for the ambient exposure, and 32 for the burst exposure.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #25

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    If your reasonably close use a wiiiiiiiiiiide lens. 50's don't make it except for further shots.
    Last edited by waynecrider; 06-23-2011 at 08:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    W.A. Crider

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider View Post
    If your reasonably close use a wide lens. 50's don't make it except for further shots.
    Good advice, for sure! That's one thing I learned in doing this. I was too close for the 35 mm lens this time. Next time I plan to be much further away to get better shots.

  7. #27
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    You've got some nice bursts there! I agree, though, that getting further away would be ideal, and if the location warrants it, try getting some sort of foreground (or any ground) action or silouette or audience if you can. Details (bridges, buildings, structures, people, etc) that make that bursts unique and/or easily identifiable are a great way of having something different to the standard fireworks shot.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  8. #28
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    Always loved fireworks, try some daylight film to warm the reds, Ekta's green/blue cast doesn't work in favor of the warm colors.
    The pics are good but the sky is washed out, color saturation suffers a little from over exposure.

    Keep shooting!

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