If you haven’t read the first post you can read it here. At any rate, I am going to elaborate more on the topic and provide some great information about actually getting decent shots from this weekend. Since this will be my first actual time heading there with the intent of capturing images and not just enjoying the moment, I will be showing images of past firework events that I have been to. Don’t worry the information and techniques will be exactly the same.
Where are you?
The key here is to give your images a sense of place. We all have that urge to get in close and shoot only the fireworks themselves. However, the problem is that unless you have an amazing show or something truly amazing happens, then your shot will simply be just that, a shot of fireworks and some times that works to your disadvantage.
As we talked about yesterday you will need your tripod 100% for this event. Don’t give me this “saving weight excuse. If you want images take your tripod, borrow one, or buy one. With that being said, set your tripod up early. I know that it sounds overkill to do this hours before the main event but if it is like any other popular festival in Korea, then space will be tight and/or gone if you don’t have your spot ready once things start going BOOM.
Having a tripod to steady your shots will also be needed the farther you are away from Gwangali. So if you are shooting from Jangsan or Hwangyeongsan, you will need to be super careful about steadying your shots. A good cable release with the ability to lock will also be a good thing to have.
This is a tricky one but I can offer some tips. First, go manual. The settings that I like to use are usually around f/8 to F/11 and then switching to Bulb. Fire when you see the firework pop or just before and release with it starts to disperse. Play with the aperture and timing to make sure that you don’t over-expose and that is about it.
Next, is to lock your focus. Nothing is more irritating then having your camera hunt for something to focus on. Either focus on something before it gets dark or use the back-button focus trick that I talked about in an earlier post.
Using the back-button focusing method you can focus on the brightest part of the fireworks and then you are locked and and you won’t have to worry about your camera hunting around for a focus point every time you press the shutter release. The greatly aids your ability to get the entire scene in focus and/or get those sharp, crisp fireworks if you so desire.
We talked about this before but the photos that are going to probably look the best are going to be the ones with the bridge in it as well as the surrounding area. This gives the shot that needed sense of place (as mentioned above). The entire show is centered around the bridge so it won’t be too hard to get that element. However, try to get something original. If you have a long lens, try getting closer (zooming) and see what that does. A close shot with an element that we know like the railings on the bridge and the fireworks going off in the background might be cool… I am just thinking off the top of my head here.
From what I hear, there will be a good chance of this event being a rainy one (again). It is best to bring out the rain gear and to also think about rain gear for your camera as well. I just bought some off of Gmarket for around 11,000 won. Don’t forget to bring a seat or a pad to sit on. The rest is just a waiting game. Bring some hot beverages as well to keep warm.