Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year Dubai!

It is that time of year again! Time for new years resolutions and of course to watch and also maybe photograph the splendid fire work displays that we have here in Dubai or wherever you are in the world. Here in Dubai we have two firework displays that usually are spectacular there are of course several fire works displays but two that are usually a bit out of the ordinary at least. It is Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world and Atlantis The Palm Hotel. Lets hope I am not wrong and that they both are boycotting fireworks or something this year :-)
For those of you that are photographer enthusiasts I would like to give some tips on how you can capture the fireworks with your camera.
When photographing fireworks your location is very important. You do not want anyone potentially standing in front of you or that a building is blocking part of your view. So location is very important you might want to go and location scout before hand since once the fireworks have started you will not have time to move yourself and your camera gear.
A tripod is almost a must at least very recommendable. If you do not have one find something solid to put your camera on such as a table or a ledge. Because you will not be able to hand hold the camera for the long exposures that are needed no matter how steady you are. A remote trigger is very handy so that you will not get any camera shake but not a necessity. If you do not have one you need to press your shutter very gently, no sudden moves.
Then put your camera on Manual mode. There are of course several different settings that you can choose from nothing is totally right or wrong just give different effects.
But to give you somewhere to start out at you can have your DSLR on ISO 100, Aperture 11 and Shutter speed somewhere between 1 to 8 seconds. At 8 seconds you will have more firework rain (light trails) and a brighter image since your camera curtain will be open for a longer period of time. When you choose a short shutter speed such as 1 second then you will only be able to capture the short bursts of light.
The lower your ISO is the less noise will be visible in your photograph, but if you do not have a tripod you can increase your ISO to compensate that a little but you then have to be aware that you will get more noise in your photographs. Try to predict where and when the fireworks will go off to capture the colorful bursts, you do not want to press your shutter when the rocket/firework starts since it then will take it too long for the colorful bursts to appear and you will overexpose your photo a bit too much.

ISO 200, Shutter speed 4 sec. Aperture F. 14
ISO 100, Shutter speed 1Sec, Aperture F.11 
ISO 100, Shutter speed 3Sec, Aperture F.11
It can also be nice to include people into your composition to show a sense of perspective and dimension. This image below is to display that and that you should not wait till the last minute to photograph a firework display because the sky after a while will become very smoky from all the fireworks which you can see in this image so its not a great image by any means I just want to prove my point. :-)
ISO 200, Shutter speed 2 sec. Aperture F.14
Good luck tonight!  If you live in Dubai you will have a second chance at photographing fireworks during the Dubai Shopping Festival. They always have spectacular fireworks over the creek then. The above images are taken during last years shopping festival.
If all else fails you can always sign up for one of my photography workshops :-) LOL

Happy New Year everyone!
Helen xx

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