Photographing fireworks all wrong

Taking photos of fireworks without a tripod and using a semi-auto mode. Oh my. 😲

Tim Wells
3 min readAug 16, 2023
Photographing fireworks all wrong. Image by author.

Where I am located, around this time of year there is a big event called the Ekka. It’s a festival sort of thing with rides and shows and it’s a great opportunity to rub elbows with hundreds of thousands of other people all squished into the location as well as pick up untold germs. I’d say it’s great but I’ve never been and don’t intend to.

What it does do is to cause the areas around the place to also put on smaller events similar to it with rides and entertainment and so in. Including, most of the time, fireworks displays.

So, that’s an opportunity to go out and take photos of the fireworks displays in all the wrong ways.

I’m sure there would be some that will cringe at the idea of using a camera in a semi-auto mode, with auto ISO, a 50mm prime lens and handheld to take photos of fireworks. I cringed at the idea and I was the one doing it.

Fireworks photos, 50mm prime lens, all hand held, all in a semi-auto mode and all using auto ISO. ISO 3600, 12800 and 7200

I’ve got my auto ISO settings set to allow any ISO up to 12,800 (highest native ISO for my Nikon D750 dinosaur) and favoring a fast shutter…