Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fireworks on July 4th

Long exposure for fireworks

Hey all! Today I wanted to briefly talk about the image above because it's a more technical image.

Some people will know this technique, it's not a huge secret! But for people who don't work with cameras then I thought it'd be fun to explain how this works.

Charity, Bobby and I got our stash of fireworks, sparklers and smoke bombs and proceeded to take photos of everything possible in the dark, because it's just another way to enjoy the lights. I quickly suggested that we spell out a word with the sparklers since they are easy to move while lit.

LUCKILY I had driven my car, so my tripod was in the trunk where I always have it.

  • A tripod is important for this shot because the shutter will be open for a long time for this technique, and holding it by hand will be way too shaky and make the words blurry.

    So I set up my tripod, and we lit the sparklers

    (freaking out every time one finally went off).

  • Bobby tried to spell some longer words, but it was pretty hard to make it look readable when you are moving the sparkler in the air and not sure where you actually are.

  • You will need a camera that lets you control the shutter speed and aperture, for example an SLR camera with manual settings.

  • Normally your shutter speed will be at around 1/250th of a second to 1/1000th of a second, hence why it clicks so fast to only let in a little bit of light.

  • For this shot we need to set it at around 15 full seconds where it stays open. The aperture can be at around f10, and my iso was up pretty high as well.

  • The shutter speed stays open for 15 seconds while you spell out the word with the sparkler, and then when you're done it all appears!

    You also can do ghost people this way

    Special bonus: The bright underline in the below image is actually from a car's headlights that passed behind Bobby while he was spelling out the word. They thought it was going to ruin the shot, but I shouted keep going and it turned out to be a great addition!

    once again

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