Here's my required fireworks picture in honor of the holiday. Taken with my 350D since I hadn't gotten the 20D out yet. Happy July 4th!
Oh, a post without a list? Can't do that.
How about a list of things I learned my first time photographing fireworks (I still have a lot to learn):
- Use low ISO (I used 100), a tripod, remote release and bulb mode. I tried timing the shots at 20 seconds (and covering the lens when I didn't want anything else), but it was easier to use the bulb mode and a remote release. Bulb mode allowed me to time the shot to the explosions and control how much of the background showed (use a longer exposure to get more background).
- Choose a suitable background. That was my biggest problem, since I was with my family, I couldn't get the Hoover Tower behind the fireworks. Fireworks without context just aren't as interesting.
- More is not better. If you get too many shells in the image, it looks like a mess (see right). I found it better to try to only get one or two explosions in each one, or even part of the explosion. Sometimes it looks better if you trigger the shutter just after the initial explosion so the light pattern is empty at the center.
- Shoot lots of photos. After all, you don't know what they'll shoot up and when.
Some Fireworks Shooting Resources: