Fourth of July Las Vegas 2015

These are the pictures I took from the July 4th Fireworks overlooking Las Vegas. It was shot at VoTech mesa in Henderson. I had a Canon T5i, Tamron 16-300mm lens and a Vanguard tripod.

To get good shots I followed some tips from Fro Knows Photo. Here are my version of those tips.

1. Bring a tripod

You need time to expose the full moment of the firework explosion. It will show the trajectory of the brightly lit particles as is explodes and come down to earth. Experiment with an exposure time of around 10 seconds or more.

2. Bring a shutter release cable.

If you didn’t bring one like me, then you can use the 2 second timer delay. This will eliminate the possibility of motion blur when you press the shutter release.

3. Turn off Image Stabilization.

Whenever you use the tripod, remember to turn off the image stabilization feature you lens or camera. If you don’t do this, the blurry image will remind you or have you wondering why your image is blurry even on the tripod. Also turn on mirror locking too. It locks the mirror inside the camera to avoid added shakes. It can be found in the custom menu.

4. Come early.

You need to come early so you can find a good spot. Have good angles and nothing blocking your view. I of course didn’t come early and found an OK spot and a large bush was blocking part of the view. For the most part the Las Vegas strip is in full view. Also it allows time to get your camera ready and set it to where you think it needs to be.

5. Keep your camera set to lowest ISO for best image quality.

You don’t need to compensate for overall the darkness because the fireworks will be relatively bright. A good setting is 100 to 200 ISO.

6. Narrow your aperture.

Your natural instinct might be to have the widest open aperture because it is dark but it’s better to narrow it down a bit. Fireworks are relatively bright and will light up it’s surroundings. Combined with long exposure it will produce a star streak effect on the street lights.

7. Bring a chair.

Jared Polin recommended to bring a chair. I didn’t. We were not there for long. We got there later and we didn’t stay too long. I took the pictures and left.

That was my fourth of July. We didn’t set off fireworks of our own.

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