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Thread: Filming fireworks with a DSLR

  1. #1
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    Default Filming fireworks with a DSLR

    I'll be filming fireworks tomorrow with a DSLR. Anyone have any tips for me?

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    I can't offer any great advice except the obvious. Use a tripod. Use all manual mode. Set the exposure for the bright firework not the sky. I guess it depends a lot on the look you're going for. If you want very sharp crisp shots keep the aperture closed and the frame rate high. If you want the opposite then shoot set the frame rate to 25 fps and open the iris.

    I would use a zoom on the camera as you won't be able to frame the shot by moving around so much with a prime lens BUT if you just want a wide shot of the whole thing then that's not so much of an issue. My style is usually to slightly underexpose in these circumstances as I've found it easier to deal with in post than trying to reverse big white blobs of light.

    When you think you've got enough footage of what you want. Zoom in and defocus, this should give you an interesting effect of blurred moving light and something to mix into the edit.

    If I was Tim, I would tell you not to forget to get lots of people shots looking at the fireworks.

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks Dave. I wish I had a practice run! I'm hoping this will be a nice end to a little family video. Will see if I can sneak a tripod there... I'm already on a verbal warning from the wife on filming matters. "Your idea of a holiday is filmmg. Mine isn't stopping every 5 minutes to watch you film."

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    Iso, Iso baby
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters View Post
    Thanks Dave. I wish I had a practice run! I'm hoping this will be a nice end to a little family video. Will see if I can sneak a tripod there... I'm already on a verbal warning from the wife on filming matters. "Your idea of a holiday is filmmg. Mine isn't stopping every 5 minutes to watch you film."
    I recognise that phrase all too well, Marc.

    I asked the same question (though not specifically for DSLR) at our club early November (unsurprising timing there) and received pretty much teh same advice as given by Midninght - with the exception of tripod use. Unless shooting very wide, you want to be able quickly to move from shot to shot. I did it handheld and the camera movement wasn't really an issue (though it might be if I was to use the fireworks as an overlay, or under titles). I experimented with different shutter speeds and exposures and the only practical advice I can give is that there is a real danger of underexposing/having too fast a speed. If you do that the shots look really weedy.

    Getting cutaways of a public is very difficult - as everything reauires a totally different setup. I wouldn't even bother unless you've got a half hour display or a second camera.
    Tim

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    If you're looking through the viewfinder and a rocket is getting bigger and bigger.... Duck!


    (and do not read Zero's post or you will spend all day with that bloody annoying song going through your brain!)

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    I'll need 10 seconds of passable fireworks footage. It's just to end a video with a "bang" and a touch of sparkle.

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    Top tips chaps. Filming went fine - a few wide shots, a couple of zooms (some deliberately out of focus) and a wide crowd shot. Should provide a nice ending to our center parc trip.

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