Att fotografera fyrverkeri.
Fyrverkeriet avslutar året och inleder det nya och är för många en höjdpunkt. Vi har flera goda råd på hur du kan fånga det med kameran!
Övergången till det nya året vill på många ställen markeras med ett stort och effektfullt fyrverkeri. Det behövs inte så många raketer för att få fina bilder. Du behöver en kamera som exponera på tid och gärna ett stativ. Bilder av fyrverkeri kan bli fina och med enkla knep, det kan vara skillnaden mellan att misslyckas och att få fina bilder.
Om du önskar att visa många raketer på en bild, måste du ha bra avstånd till fyrverkeriet t.ex. en bra utsiktsplats. Då får du också med lite av omgivningen, byggnader, landskap och människor. Det viktigaste är att kameran kan ställas in på tid, bara linsen kan stå öppen några sekunder. Utan denna möjlighet kan du glömma fina fyrverkeribilder. När du skall exponera på tid måste kameran vara stilla, Det mest praktiska är självklart ett stativ, men en fönsterkarm eller ett biltak kan också vara bra. Använder du kamera med film, använd då film med 200 ISO (ASA) och bländaröppning på ca 11 kan vara passande. Det samma med följsamheten, denna kan också ställas in på dom flesta kompakta digitalkameror som finns på marknaden med lite finesser. Linsen måste vara öppen så länge att du får ett antal explosioner. Kanske kan det räcka med 4 – 5 färgsprakande raketer, flera effekter på samma ställe på bilden kan lätt ödelägga varandra.
Någon tror kanske att när det mörknat så skall blixten användas, men fyrverkeriet gör jobbet själv. Blixten vill emellertid lysa upp framför, och där kan man ju alltid placera vänner eller familj – om du skall fotografera både människor och fyrverkeri. Om du använder en avancerad kamera med extern blixt och denna inte går på när du fotograferar på tid, då utlöser du blixten manuellt när linsen är öppen. Att människor i bilden rör sig före eller efter du fyrar av blixten gör inget – detta blir antagligen inte synligt. Skulle det framkomma några skuggor/konturer så är detta bara snyggt.
Det gäller att ha rikligt med film eller utrymme i minnet på kameran samt lite tålmodighet,
Vi önskar Er lycka till och ett nytt gott foto år. Med vänliga hälsningar Svea Fireworks.
Tips för avancerade användare
Predictable as the changing seasons, some of the world’s most spectacular fireworks return regularly to the National Mall in Washington. They accompany the Fourth of July, Presidential Inaugurals, and sometimes special events such as the Desert Storm Victory Celebration.
As much fun as they are to watch, fireworks are equally as challenging to photograph. Working on the Mall gives the Smithsonian’s staff photographers on-going opportunities to capture these events on film, and to test and improve their individual photographic techniques. Although their individual techniques may vary, the Smithsonian photographers all have some basic recommendations.
Smithsonian photographer Nicholas Parrella captured this spectacular series of bursts with the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial all in the background. These fireworks were part of the Clinton Presidential Inaugural events.
Choosing the correct viewing position should be one of the first considerations. According to Eric Long, ”have something in the photo that’s identifiable.” That might be a building, or as is often the case on the Mall, one or more of the National monuments. ”Having water in the foreground to reflect the fireworks also works well,” Long adds.
For his well-published photograph of the fireworks at the Clinton Presidential Inaugural Nick Parrella chose a position across the Potomac River near the Iwo Jima Memorial because, according to Parrella, ”it was a good vantage point for lining up the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Capitol in the shot.”
Jeff Tinsley chose the Arlington side of the Potomac when he shot the Desert Storm fireworks, using the river and numerous small boats anchored there as an effective foreground. ”They were shooting fireworks from both the Mall and Union Station,” Tinsley notes, ”and from there I could get the bursts from both sites in the same photograph”. It was the first time fireworks in Washington were launched at the same time from two separate locations.
Jeff Tinsley’s photograph from the Desert Storm Celebration shows the crossing twin traces of fireworks launched on the Mall and the large bursts which followed. To the left are smaller bursts from fireworks launched at Washington’s Union Station. In the foreground reflections on ice patches in the Potomac reveal some of the hundreds of boats tied up there during the display.
There are also other considerations in choosing a location. ”Find out which way the wind is blowing and get upwind,” says Richard Strauss. ”Fireworks create smoke and if the wind blows it towards your position it not only blocks the shot but makes it uncomfortable to shoot. From the right position you can use the smoke to your advantage. As the fireworks program builds, the smoke reflects light and can help define the shot,” he adds.
Richard Strauss shot these Desert Storm Victory Celebration fireworks from the roof of the National Museum of American History. Note the effect of the smoke from the bursts blowing towards the Washington Monument
Look for a unique position. It’s not always easy to get approval to shoot from an unusual location, but the results can be worth the effort. For example, to photograph the fireworks at the Desert Storm Victory Celebration, Dane Penland shot through the windows at the top of the Washington Monument.
Looking down on the Lincoln Memorial from the topof the Washington Monument Dane Penland captured an unusual view of the Clinton Inaugural fireworks.
”I had seen fireworks from up inside the monument, but I’d never taken photographs from there,” Penland says. ”It’s very different because you’re viewing the fireworks at eye level.”
Shooting from the top of the tower at the Smithsonian Castle Building, Alan Hart also enjoyed a unique perspective of the Desert Storm fireworks. ”It put me just high enough to get a perfect silhouette of the Washington Monument in front of the spectacular bursts.”
Positioned on the top of the main tower of the Smithsonian Castle Building, Alan Hart captured this sky-filled series of bursts behind the Washington Monument during the Desert Storm Victory Celebration
Sometimes there are opportunities which can’t be planned in advance. During the Desert Storm Victory Celebration, Hugh Talman covered the fireworks at the USO show.
”At the end of the fireworks they played the National Anthem,” Talman recalls. ”The military personnel were saluting while the bursts were filling the sky in front of them. I got down on the ground and shot with a 24mm wide-angle lens, positioning those saluting in the foreground.”
Talman waited for bursts to light the sky and shot a series of bracketed frames beginning at 1/30-second and working down to 1/4-second. He first tried using flash-fill to light those saluting. However, according to Talman, ”I had trouble with the flash cord, and the flash didn’t fire for one shot. The resulting photo wasn’t what I originally wanted, but it was better than when the flash went off.”
Hugh Talman’s photograph of military personnel saluting during the Desert Storm USO show fireworks.
The kind of camera you use really doesn’t matter as long as you can manually control it.
According to Eric Long, ”Fireworks create a very bright light source, and cameras set for automatic exposure will miss the exposure every time. You must have manual control of both the shutter speed and f/stops.”
Almost any lens, wide-angle or telephoto, that gives the desired perspective will work. Because the exposures will usually be at f/8 or f/11, a fast lens isn’t necessary.
Most, but not all, of the Smithsonian photographers recommend using a slower speed (ISO 64 or 100) slide film. Some, like Talman, prefer color negative film because, ”it has greater exposure latitude and contrast control.”
Their preferences for daylight vs. tungsten film also vary.
”I think of fireworks as an artificial light source,” says Long, who prefers tungsten film. Jeff Tinsley selects his film to match the lighting on his foreground buildings. ”Originally I shot only tungsten film because the buildings were lit with artificial light which made them look more natural,” he says. But now the lighting on the monuments around the Mall has changed to several mixed sources, so I use more daylight film.”
Shooting from an office building across the Potomac from Washington, Eric Long captures the monuments and fireworks from a different perspective. The Theodore Roosevelt Bridge is in the foreground.
Dane Penland uses daylight film because, ”it gives a warmer saturation,” while Nick Parrella uses daylight film because he feels it gives him ”truer color.”
Exposure techniques also vary. Expect exposure times to be long, varying from just under a second to more than 15 seconds. The trick is to have the shutter open at just the right time to catch the bursts.
It may seem obvious, but always use a tripod. ”Set the shutter speed to ”B” (Bulb) and use a locking cable release since you will be making timed exposures,” Strauss says.
Starting with a basic exposure of f/8 and 4-seconds for ISO-64 film, most of the photographers bracket their exposures during the fireworks show. Opening the lens just before a burst is launched will capture the firey streak climbing skyward as well as the burst itself.
Tinsley locks the shutter open while covering the lens with a black cardboard card. Then he watches the sky, uncovering the lens periodically to accumulate bursts. ”If you watch the streamers as they launch, you can judge where the burst will be,” he says. ”That way you can compose the frame so the entire sky is filled with bursts. If you really want a challenge, you can also try to compose based on the color of the bursts.”
By timing his exposures, Jeff Tinsley was able to compose this photo filling the sky evenly with bursts and exposing only for red, white and blue. These fireworks are from the Second Reagan Presidential Inaugural
Parrella prefers to meter for the buildings, generally resulting in a 9-15 second exposure. He then times opening the shutter at the start of a series of bursts, leaving the shutter open until the exposure is complete.
Because it’s almost impossible to predict how a series of bursts will look there’s also a certain amount of luck involved. ”You never know how good the burst will be,” Hart notes. ”So I usually wait until the sky goes dark again before I close the shutter.”
A final piece of advice. Eric Long concludes that it’s best to pace exposures during the show and not use all the film too soon. ”The programs usually get better as they progress, building to a grande finale. Save some film for the best shots near the end.”