Taking Pictures of Fireworks with a Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D - dummies

Taking Pictures of Fireworks with a Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

Taking pictures of fireworks with your Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D can help capture their fleeting beauty. Capturing these images can be tricky: You’re dealing with nighttime shooting, moving subjects, and sometimes lots of people.

Follow these steps to capture some fabulous fireworks with your Canon Rebel 1100D:

  1. Use a tripod.

    Fireworks require a long exposure, and trying to handhold your camera simply isn’t going to work. You can also get jostled a bit, if you’re in a crowd.

  2. If using a zoom lens, zoom out to the shortest focal length (widest angle).

  3. Switch to manual focusing and set focus at infinity (the farthest focus point possible on your lens).

  4. Set the exposure mode to manual, choose a relatively high f-stop setting — say, f/16 or so — and start at a shutter speed of 1 to 5 seconds.

    From there, it’s simply a matter of experimenting with different shutter speeds, including Bulb (which opens the shutter until you close it).

Also, play with the timing of the shutter release, starting some exposures at the moment the fireworks are shot up, some at the moment they burst open, and so on. In this fireworks image, for example, the shutter speed is set at 5 seconds and the exposure began as the rocket was going up — that’s what creates the “corkscrew” of light that rises up through the frame:


Be especially gentle when you press the shutter button because when using a very slow shutter speed, you can easily create enough camera movement to blur the image. If you purchased the accessory remote control for your camera, this is a good situation in which to use it.