i didn't know that photographing fireworks will be this technical but not so rocket science technical. yesterday, i went thru all the possible tips i can get and they all have these common tips and observations:
1. use a tripod.
2. set your camera to manual mode
3. set the ISO to 100 and the focus to infinity
4. if your camera has a Bulb or "B" mode, set it to it (unfortunately, mine is a point and shoot, so i dont have it, but according to my cam's manual, the nearest i can get to "B" mode is by setting it in Daylight mode)
5. fix your aperture to f8 or f11 (again, i cannot do this since the aperture of my camera is fixed, as in fixed fixed to f2.6 the maximum and f5 the minimum)
6. if you can have a remote shutter cable, use it to avoid camera vibration
7. putting the lens' cap or a black cardboard on the lens before opening the shutter will minimize the noise and the overexposure.
8. have a mental calculation as to when the rocket will explode, good timing is the name of the game.
9. on the first minutes of fireworks display, don't overshoot. as the display progresses, bigger and better fireworks will be up on the air as build up for that grand finale. again, timing.
10. experiment, add some interesting background such as statues, monuments, buildings to your fireworks picture, it's more awesome to look at. as for me, i am planning to get the fireworks' reflection on the water. cool.
11. shoot vertically.
i am just a bit frustrated with the aperture setting of my camera, because according to the tips that i read, the f8-f11 setting is the most ideal as it really captures the "trail" of the rocket, which is what i really, really wanted. but i can't do anything now, i just have to make do with i have, and besides, the fun in taking pictures is not to expect anything, just surprise yourself.
i am really excited with things that i learned yesterday (and i am now wishing for a superior camera, maybe a DSLR?) and i hope to apply them later tonight.
one more thing, getting to the location earlier than anyone is another good tip so you can scout for the best location possible where you can set your tripod without anyone or anything blocking your view or anyone accidentally kicking your tripod in the middle of a shooting spree.
i will be off early today and good luck to myself.