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New Year’s Eve Fireworks Photos from Trondheim

Like every year, New Year’s Eve is celebrated in my home town of Trondheim, Norway. This year was spent quietly with my wife and not at a wild party, so I took the opportunity to get some shots of the fireworks (which alcohol has prevented in the past… I must be getting old!). The photos below are shot from a tripod, using 3.2-5 seconds exposure and low ISO. I have, and you will most likely get disappointed if you shoot fireworks with short exposure, and you can’t just show up with your hand held compact camera or SLR and expect to get 1st class photos.

Firstly, you’ll have to use a high ISO which will make the photos grainy and less detailed. Secondly, you can normally maximum manage to keep the camera still for 1/20 seconds max, even with image stabiliser. When taking photos of fireworks I much prefer to include the firework from it’s lit until it explodes in the air, hence the tripod is a must!

I brought my Canon EOS 5D MkII with the 24-105mm lens. I also brought my 70-200 but didn’t fancy switching lenses in the cold. I therefore focused on the nearby fireworks, rather than the official ones by the government.

Fireworks in Trondheim

Fireworks shot from the Steinan area of Trondheim, along Steinanvegen. 105mm, Aperture: F4.5, Shutter: 5s, ISO: 125

Taking photos of fireworks is all about trying and failing. Unless you have the perfect setup and know exactly when the fireworks will come from a particular location, a big part of getting the right shot is luck. 90% of the photos are likely not to have much going for them, and with the fireworks normally just lasting for 10 minutes you just need to find the ideal frame and keep shooting!

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3 responses

  1. Andreas

    Nice pics, Torstein! I took some as well:

    I used an 18-55 lens and a tripod, with the lowest ISO setting and bulb shutter. As there were few stationary objects in my view, I had some challenges regarding focus. A tip I’ve heard is to just use the infinity setting, but that didn’t give me good sharpness, so I experimented a bit with manual focus.

    Cheers, Andreas 🙂

    January 10, 2011 at 9:41 am

    • Torstein

      Nice one Andreas. This is one of my favourites:

      I really like it either when it’s really clean or almost abstract, like this one:

      Obviously you’ve been somewhere where they have a slightly more artistic fireworks than on the hills of Trondheim. 🙂 Where is it?

      I’m going to Singapore in end of Jan for Chinese New Year so will try to capture some more fireworks. Just need to bring the tripod along for the long exposures which is always a bit of a hassle.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm

  2. Thanks 🙂 It was the public fireworks in Oslo at Aker Brygge, impressive stuff. Have a nice trip to Singapore!

    January 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm

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