August 04, 2012

Tips for taking photos of the Casino fireworks

Tonight's the first night of this year's Les grands feux du Casino du Lac Leamy / Casino du Lac Leamy Sound and Light.  It runs every Saturday and Wednesday night from now until August 18, and it's definitely worth seeing.  Each night, a fireworks professionals from around the world put on a great show in a spectacular setting.

(Before we get any further, a reminder that fireworks are prohibited in the Ottawa area this weekend. Normally, fireworks are actually only permitted around Canada Day and Victoria Day -- but due to the extremely dry conditions it's definitely a bad idea to set off your own pyrotechnics on the holiday weekend.)

Here are some tips from photographer Gordon Dewis on how to get some great photos of the show:

As I was fortunate enough to have an unobstructed front row seat, I set up my camera on a tripod and framed the scene prior to the beginning of the show. I focused on the barge where the fireworks are set off from and then turned off the autofocus on the lens so that it wouldn’t "hunt" for something to focus on when the fireworks started. Shooting in raw mode, I chose an ISO speed of 100. This would allow longer exposures while avoiding saturating the CCD sensor. For a shutter speed, I selected "bulb", which means that the shutter would be open for as long as I held it open with my remote. (Fortunately, I didn’t have to actually hold it open because I was using a wireless remote — I just had to press the button to open the shutter and press it again to close it.)
Read more from Gordon on his blog about how he got the best shots...


See also: Ottawa Fireworks Guide
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