Australia Day Fireworks

Speers Point Fireworks

 Finally got a chance to get out and take some photos this weekend. Work has totally been kicking my arse lately and I havent had any spare time to pick up my camera. I ended up catching up with some Pyro mates down at Speers Point where they were doing the fireworks for the Australia Day celebrations in the park. While I was there I got a chance to practice my fireworks photography.

Speers Point Fireworks

 It was a pearler of a show with heaps of punch and a great mixture of colours and shell variety. Timing and sizing was spot on for photos too with each shell breaking in its own sky space. It wasn’t all going off on top of each other. The crowd loved it too which is great. Big difference compared to the Fireworks Craptacular of New Years Eve in Newcastle!

Speers Point Fireworks

 The location I chose was great vantage point wise, with boats in the foreground and lights of the rides to the right, but note to self - Make sure the jetty you are standing on is solid and doesnt move with people on it. I have always thought that the jetty at Speers Point was one of the solid, doesnt move types, but I discovered the hard way that once people start jumping around with the excitement of a fireworks show, it does! The photos look OK in small size but on closer inspection you can see all kinds of wavey lines through the trails. I am a bit disappointed about it but you live and learn and I wont make that mistake again.

Speers Point Fireworks

 For those of you who have been following my How to Photograph Fireworks Tutorial, technical specs are that all of these were shot at 5 seconds, aperture f10, and 100 ISO. I was going to try and chase timings but the show was fairly fast paced and I wanted to work on some longer exposure shots anyway so I didnt change settings once it got going. I watched for the shell to launch and opened the shutter just as it was about to break. I didnt use the bulb setting on the Nikon D200, as I dont have a remote for it yet like I did for my old Nikon D70s. Its on my to buy list!

Speers Point Fireworks

In hindsight I had the room to move to be able to open the aperture to f9 and just fill out the colours in the trails, but I had seen what was in the show and knew that there were alot of larger shells, as mid show fillers as well as in the finale so I didnt want to blow out highlights. The shot below is the finale just as it was beginning to go apeshit. There is some massive shells in there, but my 5 seconds ran out unfortunately before the brocade crown to the left really opened up.

Speers Point Fireworks

 While I was waiting in position for the show to start I was playing around with some long exposures using the boats and lights on the water. I didnt quite nail the settings though as I was a bit jittery not wanting to miss the start of the fireworks. This is one of the ones I am fairly happy with – enough to show it to you anyway. Its a 20 second shot at f10. 

Speers Point Boats - Pre Fireworks

 Happy Australia Day! If you want to see more of the Speers Point Fireworks photos then click on any of the above shots and you will be taken to my Flickr account.

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  1. Those are beautiful! I have to worst trouble getting shots like those, I have yet to learn how, but am hoping it will be soon. 🙂

  2. Congratulations, these are great shots! I love that last one, it looks really dramatic. It’s great for me to see another Australian photographer – I was beginning to feel lonely when I posted about Australia day on my blog! 😉


    David Webb, Australia

  3. Great photos thank you so much for your tutorial it has helped especially your tips about the fireworks

  4. Carl Moses says:

    Hi greatly appreciated your tutorial in shooting my fireworks the other night the results where much better than I have ever done before

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