Here’s is an image of the amazing Chapel of the Holy Cross. As we discovered, this is a beautiful cathedral constructed within the mountain formations of Sedona. Such great architectural design presenting the splendor of the cathedral without diminishing the grandeur of the Sedona landscape.
I was one of those people who believed the camera makes the photographer. You probably already know that is not the case. Oh sure, there are certain functions that only exist on certain cameras. And for the professional, it is very important to get as much camera as you possibly can afford. But if you cannot afford an expensive camera, do not be discouraged. You can do quite a bit with very little.
A few weeks ago while visiting my son’s family in Birmingham, Alabama, my wife and I along with my son left for a quick errand. Since I was sure we wouldn’t be gone long, I saw no need to take my camera. While driving around, my son decided to swing by the old Sloss Furnaces near downtown Birmingham. This place was an incredible display of decaying steel and iron architecture. As it turned out, it was an industrial photo shoot waiting to happen. But, I didn’t have my camera. Extremely disappointed but never defeated, I hauled out my IPhone and began to shoot.
After a few editing steps, this was the final result.
- Always take your camera!
- Remember, any camera can take a picture…even the one on your phone!
I thought it might be good to post this tip about photographing fireworks from a few years back. Good luck!
When it comes to photography, I think everyone who has ever picked up a camera and thought seriously about improving their picture-taking skills has a desire to capture some really nice shots of fireworks. But if you’re like me, you’re early attempts were disastrous!! However, with a little pre-shoot preparation you can find yourself capturing some very pleasing images this Independence Day!!
First, you must have a tripod!! I cannot stress this enough because contrary to popular thinking, your shutter speed is going to be slow – not fast.
Next, you should have a remote shutter release cable. You can get by without this piece of equipment, but it’s a little more of a hassle. If you don’t have a shutter release cable, you will need to pre-set your shutter timer for a 2 second delay. This will allow you to trip the shutter, but delay the action for two seconds – allowing any vibrations to settle before the shutter actually opens.
Of course, you will need a camera that allows for shutter settings, aperture settings, ISO settings, and well…you get the picture, don’t you? You’ll need an SLR or a DSLR camera.
For this particular shoot, I decided upon my settings prior to my set-up. This allowed me to prepare my camera before leaving my house. Here’s what I did:
- Disengaged the stability feature on my Canon 28-135mm zoom lens – the stability feature can actually cause minor distortion attempting to allow for vibration that won’t be there
- Disengaged the auto-focus feature on my Canon lens – you don’t want your lens trying to auto-focus in the dark
- Manually pre-set my focus to infinity
- Pre-set my camera to manual (M) – you must be in total control
- Pre-set my aperture to f/11 – you want a nice depth of field in case there are fireworks exploding in the background
- Set the ISO on my Canon 50D to 100 – a high ISO will only add distracting noise to your image
- Set the shutter delay for 2 seconds
- Set the shutter speed for 4 seconds
Following these steps, I snapped a quick hand-held practice shot in my studio. Yep! Everything is dark and blurry – perfect!! It would seem everything was set correctly.
Now I have to say, I have the luxury of seeing fireworks every night of the year! Because of this, I knew I didn’t want to experiment in the field. Yes, I was going to succeed or fail with these settings!
So again, my camera specifics are: Canon 50D, 56mm or 75mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 100.
Again, I really didn’t want to make any exposure adjustments in the field for this shoot. And after carefully viewing the first few shots, I knew no adjustments would be necessary. I did have to re-position my camera slightly when the fireworks began because I was unsure exactly where they would begin their ascent. Once that was done, I only adjusted my focal length one time to capture some closer shots.
My lesson learned on this shoot: for the finale (you know, when they fire off everything that’s remaining) the 4 second shutter speed washed out the image a bit. There were just too many explosions. I will adjust my shutter speed or stop down my lens when the finale begins next time.
I hope this helps anyone out there who will be making their first attempt at shooting fireworks this weekend!