Fireworks using focus pull method:

Need a good low light lens 24-70 is good f2.8 or f4 with a focus window so you can see where infinity focus is


Red cap lamp is essential


Set camera up pointed to sky above launch pad with tripod at about chest height so you can see your focus window

Manual focus and start with it very out of focus

Manual mode

Noise reduction setting off so you can review quickly, generally not a lot of noise in these shorter exposures


F stop from 4-6.3 (f4 will give your fatter “petals”)

Shutter speeds from 1-2 sec may have to tweak this as you go

Take the shot when you see the firework explode then bring the lens back to infinity focus before the shutter closes, can also do the reverse of this.

Can practise before at videos of fireworks on TV or computer screen in a dark room, they will look weird since you are shooting a screen but good way to practise and ready yourself for the real event, which usually only goes for 8-10 mins and you don’t have time to make too many adjustments.

Fireworks using normal method:

Same settings as above but start with focus set to infinity and lock it in.

You can shoot multiple bursts in one image by widening your view and use a shutter release cable to extend times, bringing f-stop back to f8 or 11. Can also do this using in camera techniques of multiple exposures, additive mode and chose 3 or 4 frames.

AND if you don’t have any of these built in features on your camera you can do the old black cardboard trick with a 30 sec exposure f4 low ISO – open shutter for 30 secs and hold cardboard over the lens until a firework goes off, expose the lens, recover after the explosion and wait for next one, repeat – you will get a series of bursts in one shot.

Theres a website where you can go and find out where the next fireworks will be in your local area, if they are classed as PRIVATE its not worth visiting it, usually just a wedding – look for the PUBLIC and OUTDOOR DISPLAYS ones, and obviously bigger events usually means longer fireworks and bigger budgets.