Fireworks Virgin

posted on 3rd of november, 2010

So I tried my hand for the first time at photographing fireworks and I thought I would share the results and how I achieved these results.

Firstly here in the UK we are fast approaching November 5th, known as Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night, a celebration in the catching of Guy Fawkes trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament, also known as the Gun Powder Plot. So we celebrate this with Bonfires and firework displays.

Firstly I went to a large display, one that used very large fireworks. I got there 4 hours before the display was due to start to get a good spot ( turned out to be too close really ). Set up my equipment whilst it was still light. I focused my camera up on the point where they were launching the fireworks from, in this case it was a small island on a lake. Using a portrait format to give me as much of the vertical view as I could get. I made the choice on this to catch the upward motion in the shots, I guess you could easily have also gone for a landscape shot which would have worked and gave more horizontal scope. I chose to go with f/11 which gave me a wide DOF to maximise the chances of the explosions being in sharp focus. Of course the camera was set up on a tripod. I used a remote shutter release on Bulb setting and varied the exposures depending on how much action was going on, ranging from 5 to 10 seconds. I was quite pleased with the results and as I only did this on Sunday 31/10/10 thought I would try a couple of uploads out on here to see if they were good enough to get accepted, they were and here they are :-)

The second of the images is a small montage, easy to do in photoshop by copying the exploding firework and using the screen option to add it to a black background, this way you can use several different shots in one big shot.

Now to decide on how many images to look at creating, we of course do not want too any as this will fairly result in rejections due to too many from the same series. I will probably look at a couple more plus a huge firework montage, pretty much the whole 30 min display in one shot. I would be more than happy to receive any further advice or ideas. Happy Shooting :-)


Comments (12)

Posted by Henmand on July 06, 2011
am going to try next year --my new tripod did not come and other broken. Thanks for the advice. Great pics!
Posted by Shaxby on January 16, 2011
Hi Brett

Been searching for your email, nothing! I am organising an exhibition(s) which will feature the 10 Shropshire Life finalists, please drop me a line. stephen dot haxby at business-proposals dot co dot uk

Brilliant photography Brett


Posted by BCritchley on December 08, 2010
Many many thanks :-)

Posted by Linqong on December 07, 2010
Nice shots!
Posted by Suebmtl on November 22, 2010
Wonderful results.
Posted by Bevanward on November 04, 2010
Fantastic results - thanks for the technical details!
Posted by Shopartgallerycom on November 04, 2010
Fantastic fireworks! Bravo!
Posted by Lostarts on November 04, 2010
Nice! Thank you for posting this article. Next summer, in Montreal, I plan to photograph fireworks at the annual Benson & Hedges International Fireworks Exposition. Post more info about tricks and techniques as you learn, please. Thanks!
Posted by Scottysally2 on November 04, 2010
Nice images. Enjoy Guy Fawkes. :)
Posted by Laurasinelle on November 03, 2010
Great images!
Posted by Egomezta on November 03, 2010
Your images look great.
Posted by smartview27 on November 03, 2010
Happy Shooting too! Great photos!

Comments (12)

This article has been read 877 times. 1 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Brett Critchley.

About me

I am one of the remote editors for Dreamstime. Multi-international award winning photographer based in the UK. Major awards and credits: The Official Eurofighter International Aviation photographer of the year 2015, 1st place, best digitally enhanced image. The Official Eurofighter International Aviation photographer of the year 2014 2nd place win. International award winner at the Royal Horticultural Society's photography awards 2013, 1st place in Seasons and 3rd place in the wildlife category. May/June 2013 Dreamstime assignment 2nd place winner "Security and protection... [Read more]

Tywyn, Wales, UK

Blogs Exclusive user
August (1)

Stock Photography that BLOGS!

Interact, make friends, share tips and techniques, have fun. Dreamstime wants your ideas and thoughts whether you are a photographer, designer or regular user. Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite images and photographers, post tutorials or simply exchange opinions with your with fellow dreamstimers.

Don't forget words and pictures go great together so make sure you choose some Dreamstime favorite pics to brighten your article. For inspiration, check out the hottest or the most useful blogs on the left.

Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite stock images and photographers

Create your blog

My favorite articles


More favorite articles

Related image searches

fireworks firework first time advice

Firework related stock images