lightning and fireworks - shutter release

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by LarryLOOK, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. LarryLOOK

    LarryLOOK Guest

    I read that I need a remote shutter release to shoot lightning and fireworks
    with tripod. Why is this? If I try shooting fireworks with 2-5 sec shutter
    time and press the shutter before the explosion (when I hear the shot being
    fired) there won't be any shake when the fireworks goes off. With lightning
    I plan to try a 20-50 sec exposure but there won't be any lightning when I
    push the shutter release, so what could get affected by camera shake -
    there's just a dark sky.
    LarryLOOK, Jun 15, 2005
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  2. LarryLOOK

    Sheldon Guest

    I think part of it depends on your camera and your tripod. If your camera
    will accept a cable release or remote use it. If not, it depends a lot on
    your tripod. A good, solid tripod will not deliver much in the way of
    vibration to the camera. A flimsy tripod will. Keep in mind that the
    smaller and lighter the camera the heavier the tripod has to be to keep it
    from moving.

    I also agree with you that the camera should settle down quickly after you
    hit the shutter release on long exposures. Unless the background is going
    to be crystal clear in the shot, the camera will probably be quite still by
    the time the firework explodes or the lightening bolt strikes. I tried to
    handhold a fireworks shot. Interesting images, but not exactly what I was
    looking for.
    Sheldon, Jun 16, 2005
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  3. LarryLOOK

    LarryLOOK Guest

    I have the D70 but haven't bought the remote yet. I understand there's no
    bulb "B" mode on the D70 without the remote, so I guess you can't tell the
    camera when to end an exposure (after a lightning bolt) without the remote,
    you just have to set a long exposure time and hope for the best. I have a
    bogen 3010 tripod which I think should do the job. I can use the 2 sec
    shutter delay on the D70 to eliminate shake with lightning, but not sure why
    there's a need for it. I don't want to use delay for fireworks, I'll just
    push shutter button as the projectile is rising and before explosion, and
    that should prevent camera shake.
    LarryLOOK, Jun 16, 2005
  4. LarryLOOK

    Drifter Guest

    with the longer exposure I have found the remote to work very well to
    give you a nice clean "launch trail" and a good "mushroom". I tried
    it with a tripod but no remote and was not especially pleased with the

    Also, don't forget to cover your viewfinder to avoid stray light from
    making it's way in. (I was on a patio with lights behind me).

    "I've been here, I've been there..."
    Drifter, Jun 16, 2005
  5. LarryLOOK

    Gaderian Guest

    I don't know about your camera, but mine (Pentax *ist D) the remote is
    $20.00CAD compared to the more expensive electronic release cable. I like it
    because you can sit about 12 feet away from the camera and tripod if ground
    shaking is an issue. I'm sure you can get a lengthy cable release for most
    brands, but I find it's a bit quicker to set up, and there is no danger of
    tripping over a longer cable or inadvertently tugging on a shorter cable
    causing it to shake. The remote works in the same manner a cable release
    works and you can hold the button down in "BULB" mode to keep the shutter
    open for as long as you want.

    The disadvantage I find, is that the remote must see the front of my
    particular camera so if you want to sit to the rear at any distance, it
    doesn't work the best (I usually sit off to one side in a lawn chair for
    night shots etc).
    I think it's more a matter of personal preference or expense.

    My 2 cents worth.
    Gaderian, Jun 16, 2005
  6. LarryLOOK

    Jer Guest

    You were watching a firework show with the porch lights on? How dare
    you!! :)
    Jer, Jun 16, 2005
  7. Lightning, or fireworks, against a black sky makes for a very boring
    picture. Work in a cityscape, sunset, mountain range, etc. as a

    Greg Campbell, Jun 16, 2005
  8. LarryLOOK

    Matt Clara Guest

    I don't use a shutter release myself. I do follow Peter Burian's
    directions. They work great, but it's hard to control the highlights when a
    building is well lit in the foreground. Peter is one of the author's of Nat
    Geo's Field Guide to Photography (or some such). He used to hang out at the
    35mm group, before the loons chased him off.
    Matt Clara, Jun 17, 2005
  9. LarryLOOK

    Alan Browne Guest

    A cable release is not necessary if a good tripod is used and a gentle
    touch on the shutter. Better yet, use a mirror lockup and things are
    hunky dory.

    Alan Browne, Jun 17, 2005
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