Fireworks and Photography – taking the perfect picture at night

We have some tips for budding photographers to take the perfect night time picture on Bonfire Night.

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It's the fifth of November!

On one of the most spectacular nights of the year, we know many of you will be taking your cameras out to capture the best images of firework displays from around you. If you're passionate about photography, there are things to remember when taking pictures on a DSLR or Compact Camera at night time. Having the right equipment and settings can make the difference between a good and a great picture.

Taking high-quality pictures in the dark traditionally required a large sensor to capture whatever light is available.  The larger the sensor, the better the pictures you're likely to take. But this doesn't mean you have to spend on high end cameras. Many cameras now have backside-illuminated CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) image sensors, which are much more effective in low light situations and price friendly. CMOS sensors are available in both DSLR and Compact Cameras, with the added advantage of working at a higher speed for fast image capture. 

ISO Level
The higher your camera ISO setting, the more sensitive it is to light. However, this runs the risk of images that aren't as sharp. Cameras which allow manual setting of the ISO will reduce the risk of autosetting to a high level in low light. A lower ISO level can produce sharper images, giving you the best quality pictures of the night sky. This does however mean longer shutter speeds so the camera needs to remain steady to avoid blurry pictures. 

Whether you're taking pictures at a crowded fireworks display or in a friend's garden, setting your camera up on a tripod will help keep your camera stable, so you can focus on taking a great picture without worrying about a shaky image. 

Flash Gun
Depending on the environment, a flash gun can be useful to light the area you are focusing on. However, this does come with the disadvantage of longer exposure and the risk of spoiling the effect. Keeping the image sensor and ISO settings in mind will mean you are less likely to need a flash gun.

You can find many more tips for night time photography from renowed photographer Ed Graham who shared his ideas with us on TechTalk

For those trying their hands at photography for the first time, the Canon EOS 1200D DSLR is a great camera for beginners.

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