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Capture the Night Sky Illuminated
Photograph fireworks with flair

Many people feel that only professionals with thousands of dollars in equipment can capture the nighttime beauty of professional firework displays.

Not true. Preserving the bomb bursts in a photograph helps preserve the night.

Here are a few tips on taking photos with the small digital cameras. Our staff photographers follow the same guidelines.

Read the instruction manual.

If you can't find it, look for it online.

Most cameras have the ability to switch from the fully automatic setting to a manual one. From here, you can select an exposure time of several seconds or longer.

The cameras capture the light from the exploding shells. A typical bomb burst will last six or more seconds, and the camera shutter has to remain open for the duration. The longer your exposure, the more of the light show you will record.

You can view your results immediately on the digitals, so you can make adjustments through the show.

Turn off the automatic flash.

It does you no good for the fireworks and will just drain your batteries, which should be fresh.

Put the camera on a tripod or solid platform.

Sometimes you can brace the camera against a tree or rock. If the camera moves, the photos will be blurred.

Many cameras allow you to change film speed. A lower film speed, such as 50 or 100, is a little better, but this usually won't be of a concern.

Again, the key is to read the manual to learn how to take time exposures and keep the camera steady.

If you want to videorecord the show, a tripod is your best bet to keep the camera steady. Also, keep shots that last 20 to 30 seconds and do very little zooming.

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