Monthly Archives

August 2014

Equipment, Software & Technique

Tips for Shooting Fireworks

August 18, 2014

Just back from a vacation that included shooting fireworks. Although, I didn’t have a tripod with me, I did manage to get a couple of keepers. Without a tripod, the trick is to make sure you are very stable in your stance. I sat and used my arms as a two legged tripod resting against my knees. The goal is to be stable enough to deliver a sharp image at slower shutter speeds. Holding your breath when clicking the shutter helps too. That is how I was shooting that night.

Here are a few other tips on how to photograph fireworks.

1) Increase the ISO on your camera. Many newer cameras deliver low noise at ISO 800 and above, so I would not hesitate to use those speeds on your camera. It will help tremendously with higher shutter speeds and sharper images.  In addition, if do you need to reduce noise, there are options in Photoshop, Lightroom and several Plug Ins such as Topaz Labs DeNoise and Nik’s Define that would accomplish that task. But often with the dark night as a background for the fireworks, noise is not very obvious.

2) Set your camera to Shutter Priority and for the image below I used a shutter speed of .5 of a second. You may need to increase this amount based on your quickness with the shutter release and if your camera is on a tripod. A longer shutter speed will let in more light, which also will lighten the dark sky. You could also use the Bulb setting on your camera that allows you to manually determine your shutter speed.

3) If possible, use a tripod or situate yourself where you can use your body as a tripod.

4) Use a lens with a wide focal length. For this image I used my Canon 24-105mm lens and shot at 24mm. If viewing an elaborate fireworks celebration, a wider lens would be beneficial. You would pick up more of the sky and the fireworks.

5) Once the camera is set up, try to get a feel for the timing of the fireworks and keep your camera positioned at the area where they go off. If you can use a remote cable release this is easy to do. When you see them hit your spot, press your shutter.

6) Be aware and adjust the camera settings as needed depending on your results.

Good luck and have fun!

fireworks

Thanks for taking a look. More of my work can be viewed on my website.

 

 


Creative

Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows

August 7, 2014

This week I was featured in another great Etsy Treasury, Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows. Actually, two of my prints were featured, which is a first for me. A big thanks to Joanna Bury, the Curator of her Treasury, Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows. What really attracts me to this Treasury are the vibrant colors she used to illustrate happiness. This led me to contemplate on the concept of color and how it impacts my work and also my mood.

I currently live in a very sunny climate, but I do remember those days of living with ongoing gray and overcast skies and how that weather would impact my everyday outlook on life. (often I would love to just stay on the couch and usually gained at least 5 lbs throughout the winter) Looking back I realize during those days, I was interested in making more black and white images and attracted to darker conceptual imagery in photography. I believe my overall preferences in life were gloomier also, such as books, writings and media. Today, when I work in black and white, I am eager to be done. Finished with that specific piece or project.  I love color and prefer my personal work to be big and vibrant. Whether that is a function of my current living situation or just a creative phase I am in will only reveal itself with time. Also, a great concept for a research project.  Meanwhile, I plan to enjoy all the sunshine, lollipops and rainbows that I can. How abut you? Do you see any parallels with your environment and your art?

Here are the two images featured in the Treasury, Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows. Both vibrant, extremely upbeat and available for sale on my website or at my Etsy Store.

Perfect Form“Perfect Form” by McAnany

Yellow Zebra“Yellow Zebra” by McAnany

Thanks for reading and check out more of my work can be viewed at www.susanmcanany.com.