CNY Fireworks !! x Blending in Photoshop

Happy Chinese New Year !!

Well, its suppose to last for 15 days from 9th of Feb. So technically speaking we are still in celebration even though most of us are back to work. Busy Busy Busy ! Family, Sports, Food and Photography…..Tsk Tsk….not enough time for everything !

This year, the River Hong Bao Celebration is along the Marina Bay Floating Platform, where the fun fairs, music, song and dance will all join in the celebration.  Including a miserable 5 mins fireworks display ……Ok, ok i know, shall be grateful 🙂 You can also read all about the Marina Bay Floating platform here and here. It will be a dream to be able to play a soccer match here while surrounded by water !!!

How to take pictures of fireworks ? Googled around and got the answer. But how to take really nice fireworks ? No one said a word and i shall reveal the secrets. Its called blending in photoshop. Show you later how later 🙂

River HB 2013 final

See ? Nice ? Mark helped me with this.  Blending in photoshop, aka bluffing if there is such a tool 🙂

I was rather pleased to see the stalls at the fun fair, because it reminds me of what i use to play with when i was young. No Ipads, no massive electronic equipment and screens, just good old fashion fun. Love it ! Even the kids love them, it time to give them something more than just exercising their fingers.

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And the tea cup spinning thingy !!! When was the last time you sat in one ?

The secret to a nice fireworks picture, well its not a secret, just exaggerating a little.  I was just peeved that sometimes when you ask someone how did they take such nice pictures, they just say point, frame and shoot. And it leaves me frustrated when i could not do it, making me feel stupid. Its not true, all nice photographs go thru some kind of touch ups.

Right, you need to be at the place about an hour before. Setup your tripods and frame your picture. Make sure no one moves or touches the tripod after you set it in place. Kill them if you need. 🙂 Now, take a series of the same scene but setting the exposure from -3 to +3. Take at every 1/3 stop if you like. At aperture F8, let the camera decides the shutter speeds it need but ISO should be at 100. Use a remote shutter if you can. Reason being that there are different areas in the pictures that look different with each exposure. For example, this building will be too dark, that building will be too bright.

Finished ? Switch the camera to bulb mode. Now wait for the fireworks, but no one moves the tripod !! When the fireworks come, take the shots, holding the shutter button for 2-3 seconds and release. Don’t bother to time and synchronize so that you capture the fireworks at its “blossomest”. You can only do this if its the first one, after that, its a blur when they start to fire everywhere.

Now go home and choose 5-6 pictures that you think will effectively light up the buildings and fireworks if you blend them together. Go to this tutorial and get the basics (See…its no secret) and you are on your way !! Blend the images by using this method as well to get well exposed buildings all around 🙂

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Voila !

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone !!!!

Fireworks : Leica 24mm F1.4 Summilux 6bit.


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