From my last fireworks post I kind of left off not telling why my camera settings were what I chose. Here I'm going to explain that and in the next post I'll explain what I did in photoshop to make it look even better.
First of an example:
Shutter Speed: 20/1 second
F Number: F/5.6
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Now, why did I choose those settings? Take a minute and try to figure it out, every one of those settings has a significant effect on the picture in this case, and I set them all manually.
Ok, my shutter speed was 20 seconds, so that I could get several mortars exploding in one picture, without cluttering the pciture with too many explosions.
My ISO was 100, because the night sky is mainly dark blue, which really emphasizes any noise in the picture so I wanted as little as possible.
My aperture was f5.6 because the effect of the explosion is almost instantaneous, as are the trails. It's a lot like working with flash, the flash happens so fast that shutter speed doesn't affect it.
My focal length was also specifically chosen. 18mm is the widest angle setting on the kit lens(my only wide angle lens at the moment). They were big explosions, and it was easier to shoot a little(although not much) wider and crop a little in photoshop, than to cut off the sides of the explosions.
Oh yeah, one other thing. To get good fireworks pictures...
You're gonna have to manually focus it. Or cheat like I did.
The reason is because it takes a second or two to autfocus on anything, but with fireworks that would cause you to miss the shot. By manually focusing it before hand, or focusing on something the same distance away and then turning auto focus off, you can easily click the shutter just before the first explosion.
Hope that helps you for next fourth of july, don't forget to check out my deviant art and portfolio site on the right side of the page:)