Today I got to shoot fireworks from the hard hat zone of Topeka's annual July 4th fireworks show. This is my second year in a row shooting from this spot, and it is always a trip! My advice for shooting fireworks: set your ISO to something you can live with - and hopefully print from, then set your aperture to somewhere around 11, which will let you pick up on the sparkles and trails, and not just blow everything out. Focus to infinity and then back off a twinge. Finally, shoot in Bulb mode if you have it, at varying shutter speeds throughout the show. Bulb mode lets you manually open and close the shutter at will. My philosophy is to always catch multiple fireworks in each shot, which requires a longer exposure.
This photo was taken at a three-second exposure, and it is about impossible to tell when each shot was fired during that exposure. What always amazes me is what the color cast from the fireworks overhead does to the ground below (and the passing smoke). It is pretty amazing. Check out more photos in my Flickr Photostream on the right side of the page.
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 24-105mm f4
40mm - ISO 640