New Year Fireworks

A HAPPY NEW YEAR to all readers of my blog!

34mm  f/7.1  -2.7EV  2sec  ISO200
At this New Year's night I again tried to catch some nice photos of those great fireworks happening right in front of my balcony. I live at an excellent position at a higher floor overlooking the river in the center of our city. Every year hundreds of people are coming to the river banks to celebrate New Year by firing lots of colorful and noisy rockets, fountains and other things into the air. It is always such a beautiful sight. And of course lots of smoke is floating through streets and along the river letting the air glow with every burning item or explosion. It is my last and first highlight of every year.

45mm  f/7.1  -2.7EV  0.8sec  ISO200
Last year I also took photos but that went completely wrong. I was pointing into a wrong direction, most of the photos were out of focus due to autofocus setting. I was really sad. This year I got more serious. I erected my tripod and mounted my EOS 600D camera onto it with an EF-S 18-55mm kit lens facing st a direction where I guessed most action will happen. I deactivated image stabilization and activated mirror lock to prevent shakes and used a remote release control. The camera was set into Av mode. I know, fireworks should be shot in complete manual mode, but due to very different and constantly changing light situations I'm afraid of getting too under- or overexposed photos. In Av mode I choose a fixed aperture and ISO value and shutter speed is calculated automatically depending on current light intensity.

24mm  f/7.1  -2.7EV  1.3sec  ISO200
Getting focus is quite a challenge in darkness. But as you can see, there is enough light to get autofocus to work. I chose a focal length and frame of my choice and pressed release button to autofocus the scene. After that I switched into manual focus and every next shot will be taken with this focus setting. If I changed focal length and frame I repeated this procedure of first autofucussing and then using manual focus. So I stood the night at my balcony repeatedly pressing the remote release and enjoying the amazing event. Of course some of the photos were under- or overexposed, but most were of good quality. This year I'm happy with the results. To point out colors and action I changed color temperature and saturation in post processing to get a warmer and more colorful image.

Like last year I again produced a time lapse video of all that fireworks which turned out quite amazing. I use my iPhone 5 for that which I mount to the balcony railing. Compared to last year, where I captured a whole hour I shortened this year's time frame to half an hour. The video covers a range from a quarter to midnight until a quarter past midnight and is compiled of one shot per second. Make sure you watch it full screen and in HD!