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July 4, 2014

By: Anne Schwab, Creative Management Services

Let your creativity explode. It’s worth a shot!

Fireworks never fail to ignite passion and patriotism. Here are seven sure-fire tips to capturing that heart-pounding display on Friday.

1.Use a Tripod

A tripod helps steady the camera better than hand-holding. Leave your camera shutter open for three to five seconds to successfully capture the moving streams of light. A tripod with a ball head allows for tilting to more easily follow the bombs bursting in air.

2.Choose Your Shots
Knowing where to set up your camera and tripod is key to catching the dazzling display.
● Look at old photos of fireworks in the same area you will be shooting.
● If possible, visit the location with your camera and tripod before the 4th.
● Get there early on the 4th to claim your spot.
● Pick an area that will not be obstructed with bobbing heads.
● Make certain the camera is level with the horizon.

3.Reducing Camera Shake
If you are up close and personal to the rumbling of the rockets, a remote release cable or wireless remote control will help keep the camera still. Second choice to a shutter release is a self-release timer on the camera.

4.Focal Length
To minimize the equipment you will need, I recommend a zoom lens for the flexibility of shooting close-up and wide angle. You can always crop the wide shots later. For nice sharp red flares, set your lens to manual focus and the distance to infinity.

Use apertures between f/8 and f/16 for best results. And turn off your flash.

6.Shutter Speed
Set your camera to manual and the shutter speed to between 1 and 20 seconds. If you are experimenting with very long exposures, cover the lens between the fireworks with a black card avoid contamination from ambient light.

7. ISO
Since you are not looking for speed, set your ISO to 100 for crisper shots.

So Put Some Fireworks in Your Photos This 4th

Happy Independence Day from Cavus Media to all of our patrons in the U.S.A!