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Photo Analysis
Fireworks
If you would like to post a reply, then please login (if you already have an account) or register (if you don't).
Jan 3, 2017 14:31:45   #
photodoc16
 
Hello all,
This is my first New Topic post and I look forward to some help. I have shot fireworks for a while and have been generally pleased with the results using basic exposure factors, cable release, tripod, etc. This time around I noticed that at the very beginning and end of the display there was such a high concentration of explosions that the light intensity clearly overexposed what could have been a fabulous photo. So...should I have scrambled to add an ND filter for a longer exposure? If I did any of the usual maneuvers to lower the exposure I would have completely lost the perspective provided by the background.
Any and all comments welcome.
I am hopefully attaching one photo to show the general exposure of most images.
Thanks,
photodoc16


(Download)
 
Jan 3, 2017 14:37:44   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
Your settings on the attached pic: f/14, 2 sec, ISO 100

Gene51's comments about shooting in raw and the pp adjustments address how to deal with the problem you faced: a wide dynamic range (very dark + very light areas in the same frame).

(edit - Gene and I keep editing our remarks based on what the other has said, lol. I'm not quite following the reason to use a 1-stop ND vs. just changing aperture to f/16 or f/22, though, so will keep watching for further discussion)

You mentioned "longer exposure" - I just want to point out that if one were to use an ND filter here for the purpose of lengthening exposure time, then the result would produce softer trails of light instead of detailed and structured fireworks.

Welcome to the forum, photodoc!
Jan 3, 2017 14:39:46   #
Gene51 (a regular here)
 
photodoc16 wrote:
Hello all,
This is my first New Topic post and I look forward to some help. I have shot fireworks for a while and have been generally pleased with the results using basic exposure factors, cable release, tripod, etc. This time around I noticed that at the very beginning and end of the display there was such a high concentration of explosions that the light intensity clearly overexposed what could have been a fabulous photo. So...should I have scrambled to add an ND filter for a longer exposure? If I did any of the usual maneuvers to lower the exposure I would have completely lost the perspective provided by the background.
Any and all comments welcome.
I am hopefully attaching one photo to show the general exposure of most images.
Thanks,
photodoc16
Hello all, br This is my first New Topic post and ... (show quote)


Shooting raw will give you a little more exposure headroom, in addition to closing down to F16. When processing, knock the highlight slider all the way down, and possibly the exposure as well.

The ND filter is a good idea, but I'd use only a 1 or 2 stop filter and leave the rest alone if you go that route. The duration seems fine, F14 is ok, and the ISO at 100 is perfect. You just need to cut the light back a bit. I also see you are not shooting raw. You'd definitely get better results if you did.

Thanks for picking up on that, Linda!
Jan 3, 2017 15:42:04   #
photodoc16
 
Linda and Gene 51,
Thank you for your comments. I didn't realize you could see the EXIF data. I shoot in Raw + JPEG and perhaps only the 'JPEG' showed on the data. I did try to manipulate the image I sent and this was the best. However, it was for the major bursts that I had the trouble. I was going to set up with an ND filter to get more bursts and fill the screen with photo magic but never got there trying to make sure the basic shots were okay. I have just read about using the ND filter and wanted to give it a try. If it was in place during the big bursts of white do you think it would have delivered more color and detail? Also, from the examples I saw of photos with the ND in place, the colors and sharpness seemed maintained. If you hunt down articles on line you should see what I mean. By using an ND filter instead of stopping down the "aperture," I am preserving the basic appearance of the scene except for the object of my attention (like a waterfall) while lengthening the exposure time. With the f stop change only I will be darkening the image which I did not want to do.
Its too bad I don't have more occasions to practice this. If I make any breakthroughs I will let you all know.
Cheers and a healthy New Year.
Photodoc16
Jan 3, 2017 15:50:17   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
I hope more folks with extensive ND filter experience chime in.

If you put on the ND filter, but don't change the settings (assuming manual, not auto-exposure), then everything in the scene will be darker. If you lengthen the exposure time, you change the look of the fireworks (just like with a waterfall: sharp and detailed vs. silky smooth).

Image sharpness is not affected by the ND filter itself; only by shutter speed and aperture.

http://photography.tutsplus.com/articles/quick-tip-when-and-how-to-use-a-neutral-density-filter--photo-3661

Color and details: perhaps you're thinking of a graduated ND filter that you might use to darken a bright sky so the clouds aren't blown out, while exposing for a darker landscape below?

Or a polarizing filter, which is used to suppress glare and reflections (and which will darken blue skies, depending on angle at which used).
Jan 3, 2017 16:04:42   #
SharpShooter (a regular here)
 
photodoc16 wrote:
Hello all,
This is my first New Topic post and I look forward to some help. I have shot fireworks for a while and have been generally pleased with the results using basic exposure factors, cable release, tripod, etc. This time around I noticed that at the very beginning and end of the display there was such a high concentration of explosions that the light intensity clearly overexposed what could have been a fabulous photo. So...should I have scrambled to add an ND filter for a longer exposure? If I did any of the usual maneuvers to lower the exposure I would have completely lost the perspective provided by the background.
Any and all comments welcome.
I am hopefully attaching one photo to show the general exposure of most images.
Thanks,
photodoc16
Hello all, br This is my first New Topic post and ... (show quote)


Doc, welcome to the Hog !
I know you're new, but try to look at my created post, one is about shooting fireworks. About 20 pages with lots of info and pics. That might give you a lot of insights.
Again, welcome.
SS
 
Jan 3, 2017 16:08:44   #
photodoc16
 
Linda,
Exactly. Who would put on an ND filter without changing exposure factors like shutter speed?(I am not familiar with that usage). In that way the overall scene maintains its original exposure except for the object of interest. So no, I wasn't thinking of a polarizer (although it could function as a ND of sorts) or of a graduated ND either. I will just have to experiment to find out just how to use the ND most effectively with fireworks.
Photodoc16
Jan 3, 2017 16:10:26   #
photodoc16
 
I would love to SS but how do I find your post?
Photodoc16
Jan 3, 2017 16:19:50   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
photodoc16 wrote:
Linda,
Exactly. Who would put on an ND filter without changing exposure factors like shutter speed?(I am not familiar with that usage). In that way the overall scene maintains its original exposure except for the object of interest. So no, I wasn't thinking of a polarizer (although it could function as a ND of sorts) or of a graduated ND either. I will just have to experiment to find out just how to use the ND most effectively with fireworks.
Photodoc16


Here's an interesting article:

http://digital-photography-school.com/neutral-density-filter-fireworks-photography/

And this might be Sharpshooter's topic he mentioned

http://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-216114-1.html

-
Jan 3, 2017 19:28:31   #
photodoc16
 
Okay Mr. SS, I went to the referenced site and learned something. I do have some questions. Do you shoot at different SS's and 3 seconds seems best or do you shoot exclusively at 3 seconds? When you are shooting to maintain perspective and interest with the background visible, do you experiment with fstops or is f8 a favorite? I assume ISO is always 100. Have you ever used a ND filter and if so, what happened? How often, if ever, do you go over 30 seconds for an exposure?
Thanks,
Photodoc16
Jan 3, 2017 19:42:01   #
SharpShooter (a regular here)
 
Linda From Maine wrote:


And this might be Sharpshooter's topic he mentioned

http://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-216114-1.html

-


Linda, thanks!! I'm just glad there are Hogs here much smarter than I am. Someday I'll figure out how to create a link!!! Again, thanks for bailing me out! 📷 🎆 📷 🎆 📷
SS
 
Jan 3, 2017 20:30:10   #
SharpShooter (a regular here)
 
photodoc16 wrote:
Okay Mr. SS, I went to the referenced site and learned something. I do have some questions. Do you shoot at different SS's and 3 seconds seems best or do you shoot exclusively at 3 seconds? When you are shooting to maintain perspective and interest with the background visible, do you experiment with fstops or is f8 a favorite? I assume ISO is always 100. Have you ever used a ND filter and if so, what happened? How often, if ever, do you go over 30 seconds for an exposure?
Thanks,
Photodoc16
Okay Mr. SS, I went to the referenced site and lea... (show quote)


Ok Doc, thanks for going to the post, lots to see there.
I'll just repeat the basics so we're both on the same page...
The ambient light is controlled by the Shutter Time.
The exposure is controlled by the f-stop.
The ambient light is dark, so there is nothing to record. If it's dark, the shutter can be open for 3 seconds or 3 minutes, the result is still a black exposure.
So the shutter time is only controlling HOW MANY blast you will record in each image.
The f-stop will control how much light imprints on the sensor.
As you discovered, if there are a lot of blast, more light is created, so more light is recorded. If you don't control the light coming in, and if it gets to light, it will over expose and become completely white.

We must remember that anytime a very bright light source(usually the sun) is photographed we are dealing with an HDR scene and it's beyond the scope of the Range of your sensor. So we must stop down for that at the risk of underexposing the dark area of the scene.
You should only need an ND filter if you are stopped all the way down and you're already at ISO 100 and it's still overexposed.

So the 3 seconds or 6 seconds or whatever just controls how many blast will be in the image at one time. My experience is that if you try to get to many, they become somewhat jumbled up and not distiguiable individually and no longer is appealing. Worse, what might have been a great image is ruined by one of those that blast that zig-zags around!!
If you up the ISO, you'll need to stop down more
Hope all of this made some sense.
If you shot portraits using strobes, the sync speed is the duration and the blast is the strobe! The f-stop and ss do the same thing.
Hope this helped!
Again Doc, welcome!
SS
Jan 16, 2017 10:04:41   #
Nature_Shooter (a regular here)
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Here's an interesting article:

http://digital-photography-school.com/neutral-density-filter-fireworks-photography/

And this might be Sharpshooter's topic he mentioned

http://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-216114-1.html

-


Interesting article. Thanks for sharing Linda.
 
          
Photo Analysis
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