Picture Perfect Fireworks
To get started with fireworks, turn off your flash and set your camera to manual. This allows you to control the exposure and aperture yourself. A good place to start is setting your aperture to f/11, at 1/2 second shutter speed and the ISO at around 100. If the photos are too dark, adjust the shutter speed while keeping the aperture the same. Another idea is to shoot in ‘bulb’ mode. This mode is found on most cameras’ shutter speed settings. Bulb mode lets you keep the shutter open for as long as you hold down the shutter. This technique allows you to press the shutter when the firework explodes, and hold it until it’s done.
Using a longer exposure will create longer lines, and better-looking photographs. As with any long exposure photography, don’t forget to use a tripod, and preferably a remote release, to help minimize shake.
Paint With Light
Painting with light is easily accomplished with a long exposure. All you need is a dark location and friends holding flashlights or glow sticks. Using a long exposure and tripod, you can capture your friends drawing shapes or writing in the dark. For camera settings, try setting your aperture to f/11, your ISO at 100, and your shutter speed between 11 and 30 seconds. For a longer exposure, you will want to switch to bulb mode. Light painting is a combination of science and art, and something to have fun with.