More lazy fireworks

A few days ago, it was PTSD day on the doggie calendar (aka the 4th of July). We are lucky to have neighbors who spend quite a lot on fireworks, so we get a fireworks show from the comfort of our home (no bug bites or sweat. Yay!).

20170704 212906 Bunches Of Fireworks 300px 15fps giphy

These are all the shots that I took at 15fps — looks pretty crazy. Most of the shots were colorful, but not as interesting frozen.

Below are some of the better shots taken with my Fujifilm X-T1 and 50-140mm. Shots were taken through a somewhat filmy window with the camera either on a monopod or a tripod. (Although, I did try it hand-held which was fun, but I got too tired holding up the heavy lens.)

20170704 213544 DSCF5815 DSCF6002 X-T1_DCE.jpg

This was, of course, shot manual all the way — manual focus to infinity with most of my exposures around 1/4 sec f/2.8 ISO200. One stop brighter and you can see the rooftops like this:

20170704 213247 DSCF5750 X-T1_DCE

20170704 213436 DSCF5782 X-T1_DCE

Because these are not professional fireworks, they didn’t go very high and didn’t have huge plumes (so you can see the smoke from the previous firework). Sometimes, this can be reduced with a little reduction in exposure and highlight tone and boosting of shadow tone. (This also helps make the rooftops and trees disappear.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But sometimes there was just too much smoke.

20170704 213828 DSCF5840 X-T1 velvia ht-2 st+2 ev-1 dr100_DCE

Some quick adjustments in Photoshop helps…

20170704 213828 DSCF5840 X-T1 photoshop_DCE

And if I really wanted to remove the smoke, I could spend more time in Photoshop (but I won’t).


In the past, I’ve shot big fireworks displays at around 1/2 sec, but I found that for these “little” fireworks, 1/4 sec seemed to be the ideal speed. Here is one shot at 4fps.

20170704 213247 fireworks 4fps

1/8 sec was too fast (shot at 8fps). The streaks are too short.

20170704 220902 fireworks 8fps

But your results may vary (so test, test, test!)

And a few parting shots.

20170704 214136 DSCF5866 X-T1 velvia ht-2 st+2 ev-1_DCE20170704 215105 DSCF5902 X-T1 velvia_DCE



I’ll be honest. I shot everything a stop too bright. (It looked so nice on my camera display!!!) and forgot to set the film simulation to Velvia. Reducing the highlight tone and boosting the shadow tone was something I wouldn’t have guessed, either. I think that the last time that I seriously tried to shoot fireworks, I was shooting with Canon DSLRs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s