Chicago Fireworks 2012 – 10 July 2012
Oh yes, I have more fireworks photos for y’all!
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Navy Pier
Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 300mm f/4
As for how I shot these photos, well…first and foremost, you need a tripod, there’s just no other way to do this. Not only is this night shooting (and over long time periods, but I’ll get to that later), I was also shooting with a large, unwieldy telephoto lens; don’t get me wrong…I love the lens for what it allows me to do, but it’s damn near impossible to hand-hold; luckily, the lens has its own built-in tripod mounting point (the lens itself is heavier than the camera it was attached to, so you need to support the weight of the lens, not the camera). I kept the lens aperture set at f/16 or f/22 – it’s difficult to determine critical focus at night and at a distance, and even more so when your subject doesn’t appear for very long; the small aperture gives you maximum depth-of-field, and greater likelihood that if your critical focus point is slightly off, it won’t matter so much for the final results. I used the ‘B’ or Bulb setting for the shutter speed, and just counted off 5, 10, or 15 second exposures; naturally, this means that you’re basically hoping for the best with each shot. The subject being fireworks, however, it’s impossible to predict what the shots will look like beforehand, so you just have to cross your fingers and hope they turn out. During the more active portions of the show, I didn’t stop to check the results of each shot, and just kept sequentially shooting until the show ended.