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Taking pics of Fireworks with E-pm1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by zammer, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. zammer

    zammer Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    Well its Canada Day in the Great White North, I'll have a perfect view of the Fireworks tonight. This will be my first chance to try to grab a couple pics with my E-pm1, was wondering if the Fireworks setting in scenes mode will really do the trick or should I try something else? thanks
  2. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I found the suggestions here to be very helpful - I had not shot fireworks before last night but I was able to get some nice shots.

    If you can set the camera up on a tripod and use the 2-second delay timer, you'll get straight lines/trails instead of having them look all jittery. I set up in Manual mode with ISO 100, f/5.6, and 2sec exposure.

    With the 2-second delay, I just pressed the shutter when I saw a rocket going up and generally it got most of the blast. You could play around with the exposure but it seemed like 1.5-2.5 seconds got a nice burst.
  3. zammer

    zammer Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    Thanks for those suggestions and the link fin, I'll give them a try tonight
  4. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    If you're shooting jpeg try fixing the white balance too - I found over the years auto WB washes the colours out. I prefer daylight WB, but shoot raw these days to avoid the issue.

    I've had some great shots handheld up to about 1/8 - 1/6th when it's really busy (lots of fireworks going off).

    This one's handheld from a couple of weeks back:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  5. zammer

    zammer Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    Well gave the Fireworks scene a go, it has a 4 sec exposure. Pics were ok but nothing spectacular, none of the fireworks had that big explosion and umbrella like droop tho. Here are probably the two best...

    View attachment 215018

    View attachment 215019
  6. PSimmons

    PSimmons Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 24, 2010
    Central Florida
    did you turn off autofocus, these look a bit blurry? Put on manual and set to infinity
    • Like Like x 1
  7. zammer

    zammer Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    Exif info shows it was in Manual mode, how would I set it to infinity focus? I've played around a little with the manual focus with objects within 10 ft but nothing 200 yrds away.
  8. acercanto

    acercanto Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    SW VA, USA
    I usually get there before dusk and set the tripod up and autofocus on something about as far away as the fireworks, then switch it to manual. Or you could autofocus on the first few boomers, then turn it to manual.

  9. zammer

    zammer Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    Thanks acer, I'll give that a try.
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