It’s that time of year again when the sky over India will be filled with countless lights and fireworks. Yes, you’ve guessed it, Diwali is fast approaching. Diwali is one of the most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar and the lights symbolise lifting away the dark spirits.
This celebration can last up to five days and during this time people decorate their homes and workplaces with electric lights, small clay oil lamps, and bowls of water with candles and flowers floating on the surface.
With a beautiful display of lights and colours, Diwali makes for the perfect excuse to grab your camera and create canvas Diwali prints out of the spectacular visual pyrotechnics that are on offer. Here at Parrot Print, we’ve put together some top tips to ensure you capture the perfect images instead of blurry, out-of-focus photos.
How's your anticipation?
With hundreds of people setting off fireworks through the night you’re bound to find the right spot to capture the best ones. Before you set up your equipment ensure your place offers a level surface for your tripod and an unobstructed view of the fireworks in front of you. Now for the most important factor, you need to anticipate the timing of the fireworks, as well as the trajectory sequence.
Set your shutter speed
The shutter speed on your camera is something you’re going to have to experiment with throughout the course of the evening. The best speed for photographing fireworks is a slow one however, not only do you need to capture the explosion but you also need to include the trail, after effects, and even the residue. We advise varying between speeds of two and 10 seconds.
Use infinity focusing
This technique is extremely handy when photographing fireworks or lightening when it’s dark. Simply switch to manual focus and then focus on a light source in the distant, it might be a good idea to take some practice shots with the moon. If your lens has an inbuilt distance scale setting the focus to infinity is much easier to do. If you’re looking for other aspects for your Diwali photography, why not try Bokeh photography?
Turn down your ISO settings
You want these images to be graphic, so you certainly don’t want any noise creeping in their. Using a high ISO setting in low light conditions will always result in noise. While many of you think increasing your ISO makes more sense in the dark, remember you’ll be using prolonged shutter speeds. If you’re using a high ISO setting combined with a long shutter speed your photos will result in large noise levels. So, keep your ISO low.
When working in a creative industry you’re always thinking about the outcome before you’ve even captured your subject. You probably already have loads of ideas for your post-production stage, so remember to give your fireworks plenty of space within the frame. This will come in handy when you come to edit, crop, and add various effects to achieve your ideal canvas prints.
Look out for the wind
All those fireworks result in one thing - smoke. So, make sure you’re facing away from the headwind and not the other way round. If you are the smoke will cause a layer of grey blurriness to appear on your photos and no matter how great your photo shopping skills are, you won’t remove them.