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Old January 10th, 2012, 09:48 AM   #1
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Shooting fireworks at a wedding.

Hello all,

We are shooting a wedding in the summer and the bride has informed me that they will be having fireworks, which will be the first wedding we have filmed with fire works. Hopefully many more after this.

I want to get this spot on from the start so am just throwing out a there what tips you guys/gals might have...settings etc of how we might want to set up.

We are shooting with two camera a 5Dii and 7d. and as we are fairly new to the game only have a handful of lenses to cover us. 24-70 L lens, canon 70-200 IS 2.8, and a sigma 17-55 2.8 for the 7D. I'm hoping to get a Canon 24 L at some point but unsure at the moment if we will be able to.

I have a bit of an idea of what i want to do when we are filming....

Have one camera recording the fireworks whilst the other is pointed at the guests, or on the bride and groom to get some reaction shots as they are watching and the glow from the fireworks on their face.

At the moment I also envisage that we shoot the fireworks in 50fps using the 7D so we have a better scope to slow the film down in editing for the fireworks. Set the focus to infinity and stop down to say f8 . I don;t want to go too high on the iso. Anyone who has done it before would this work?

Unfortunately we haven't got any fireworks coming up really before then for me to try out on.

Are there any other important aspects that I am missing. In particular for the camera capturing the fireworks. Do you think its right to use the 7D for the fireworks on 50fps

Many thanks
Dave
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Old January 10th, 2012, 09:52 AM   #2
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Re: Shooting fireworks at a wedding.

Do the same as I did when filming my first set of Chinese lanterns - buy some and set them off - I bought just a few, got some friends to light them and set them off, so at least I was happy with my basic settings for the night itself

P
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Old January 10th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #3
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Re: Shooting fireworks at a wedding.

I can't speak with any knowledge of your cameras or lenses, but we filmed a wedding with fireworks last summer.

Our plan for shooting was pretty much identical to yours...get the fireworks, and get the reaction shots. I can say that I thought the fireworks would be bright enough to light the faces on the guests...but those shots ended up being very dark...And I knew that might be the case, but I didn't want to light the guests and interfere with them watching the fireworks. Your cameras might be better in low-light situations.

The other thing I would suggest is posing the bride and groom for a few shots, away from the guests, but with the fireworks in the background. We got some GREAT shots using just an LED light just on the bride and groom (actually it was the photographers) but it looked really great...we were across a pond, and you could see the reflection of the bride and groom and the fireworks, and everything else was just dark. They just did a few posed things, like a dip, etc. Not sure how "posey" you want to be, but we generally do not pose things but in this case we were glad we did. The light was just enough to light them.

I guess my biggest advice is don't underestimate how dark it really is, even with bright fireworks booming overhead.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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Re: Shooting fireworks at a wedding.

Good idea, thanks
Actually I have just thought, Chinese new year is coming up, maybe I can get up to China Town in London if they are having any fireworks or lanterns there?
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Old January 11th, 2012, 04:57 AM   #5
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Re: Shooting fireworks at a wedding.

Hi David

In our experience it completely depends on the type of fireworks used and the availability of any ambient lights.
For this clip (see beginning and end) we had the 7D on a 24mm f/1.4 set to 1600 iso, 1/50 shutter and 1.4 or 1.6 aperture while the 5D using a 85mm 1.8 was set to the same, just at 1.8.


There were a few ambient balcony lights to assist the behind the couple shots with just light from the fireworks illuminating the couple from the front (which was fun trying to obtain focus!)

IMHO you would need fast lenses otherwise you will have to increase the iso to silly levels. Also, having filmed Chinese lanterns a few times ourselves, they are noway near close to representing fireworks.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 05:35 AM   #6
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Re: Shooting fireworks at a wedding.

Aaron,
thanks for the tips.
Might be worth investing in a 24mm L lens before then. I've been meaning to get one for a while.

Dave
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Old January 11th, 2012, 08:07 AM   #7
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Re: Shooting fireworks at a wedding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tripp View Post
At the moment I also envisage that we shoot the fireworks in 50fps using the 7D so we have a better scope to slow the film down in editing for the fireworks. Set the focus to infinity and stop down to say f8 . I don;t want to go too high on the iso. Anyone who has done it before would this work?
Don't bother going down to f/8. Open it up as wide as you can. You're focussing at infinity so focus won't be an issue.

As for shooting the fireworks in 50fps, I wouldn't. Fireworks explode and then kind of linger in the air for a while. In my opinion the action looks nicer in realtime than slowed down. That's personal preference though. Just keep in mind that you will have to shoot at 1/100 to keep the 180 shutter so you're going to be losing light there.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 11:46 AM   #8
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Re: Shooting fireworks at a wedding.

Try and get a camera set far back from the fireworks so you get the full effect.

If it's raining you'll need to cover the end of the lens so as not to get rain drops on it.

Peter
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Old January 12th, 2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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Re: Shooting fireworks at a wedding.

Shot a wedding last October with lots of pyro and fireworks

Alison & Craig Wedding Video TRAILER and HIGHLIGHTS, Brig O'Doon House Hotel | Strangeworx

Password is wardman


It was certainly a learning experience and a baptism of fire (pun intended)


2 main things I took way from it.

1 . No matter how nice and how many times you ask guests to not block your unmanned camera, they will!

2. For pyro / fireworks, be prepaired to stop down/underexpose on the fly, those things can get VERY bright
(seems obvious I know but we had to stay on top of constantly )
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