Skyfire 2017 - Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, ACT

March 2017

#skyfire #skyfire2017 #canberra #longexposures #fireworks #nightphotography

Well we just happened to jag this event, passing through Canberra at the right moment. This is an annual event that our taxpayers dollars are spent on, attracting around 120,000 peeps from around the area. There were fighter jets and helicopter acrobatics earlier on with the event finale the 20 minute firework display, starting at around 8.30pm due to daylight saving in ACT had to wait until it was dark enough.

Fireworks are easy to shoot if you just want the sharp explosive images after the "boom", basically a fast shutter, small f-stop and large ISO.  BUT if you are looking for something more creative, they can be tricksey little beasts to tame.

You not only have to get the settings right (and they can change the type of effects without warning every sequence which will mean quick setting changes ) but you also have to get your timing right.

Two helpful items for shooting them is 1. tripod 2. a shutter release cable (its just easier to get the timing right). Live view mode is good for this too if you have it.


All of these shots were at f4 with 11-24 ultra wide Canon lens, from the end of Anzac Parade looking towards Parliament House.

Love the colours in this one at 2 seconds exposure ISO 50





0.8 sec ISO200 to get more of the crowd


This is a look I have been trying to capture with fireworks but never usually have the time, but with 20 minutes of them I was able to pull it off... what I call the "palm tree" effect. Can only get this effect when they do a sequence of the same at timed intervals so you capture the trails as well as the stars.
1.6 sec ISO 200


A lot more colour and light in this one, I like the effect on the water.
1.6 sec ISO 200


2 sec ISO 100
Lightroom editing of these shots makes a huge difference. Slide down the highlights to bring out the colours more and play with the shadows and blacks to get the amount of background you want as well.

0.8 sec ISO 200
Love the blue sky from the previous blasts



0.8 sec ISO 200



Another type of shot I have being trying to get, 1.6 sec ISO 100, this is just simply getting the timing right and not exposing too long but long enough to get the blurred lines, hitting the shutter just after the initial explosion.


The finale where it just went off like this for a bit, 1.3 sec ISO 100





 All up loads of fun and an awesome display of fireworks, thanks Canberra!














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