Photographing fireworks is really pretty simple. I started with a sturdy tripod, a camera with a manual "bulb" setting so you can hold the shutter open, a remote trigger so that you don't touch the camera, and some fireworks. I used my Nikon D610 and Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 lens.
I arrived early to scout out the location and find a good vantage point. This particular fireworks event took place in the small Northwest Georgia town of Chatsworth. I wanted to include some interesting foreground elements such as a city scape but this location did not include any so I instead aimed for the sky.
I set my camera at f/6.3, ISO 100, and shutter speed of 6-10 seconds dependent on the action. You can use longer or shorter shutter speeds since the fireworks themselves are pretty bright but holding the shutter open for 6-10 seconds will usually get you multiple explosions. I set my lens focus on infinity, which will vary from lens to lens. There is not enough light for auto-focus and it is very difficult to focus in the dark so you will want to confirm your infinity during daylight hours and either mark it with a pencil or tape it down with painters tape so that it does not get moved. Here's a hint, it will not always be the little infinity mark on the lens itself so check it.
Once the action began, I clicked the shutter open and closed and checked my results as I went along to be sure of proper exposure, focus, and framing. The framing is not as much of concern as the other two since you can crop in post production to get it where you want it. I mainly used 35mm focal length to bring the action a little closer and try and fill the frame. I didn't worry about timing my shutter openings and just let the show dictate how long I exposed. If the shot was too bright, I adjusted the aperture to the next higher number to compensate.
The pictures needed very little in post production and probably would have been great right out of the camera however, I always shoot RAW so some processing is necessary. I mainly tweaked the clarity, vibrance, sharpened a bit, cropped the photo and that was about it.
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