It is that time of year again. The Pattaya International Fireworks Festival will be back November 29-30th. Make your way down to Pattaya Central Beach on one or both days for a spectacular display of lights. The show is scheduled to begin around 18:00
The competitors are various countries from around the world. The first day of the festival is generally a sample display from each of the countries participating. On the second day, you can expect longer displays (roughly 45-minutes from each country with 15-minute intervals). There will be concerts by popular Thai artists as well as plenty of vendors and food booths set up so you won’t have to travel far for food or drink.
The festival originated to celebrate the birthday of Thailand’s late King, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
During the event, there will no doubt be countless photographers out there capturing the memories through their lenses. Here are some explosive tips (pun totally intended) for capturing awesome firework still shots instead of just a bunch of lights in the sky.
#1 Bring your tripod. The best looking fireworks shots are generally long exposure shots. You want to capture the whole light trails for it to look amazing. For this to happen, you will need a tripod or a good sturdy base to set your camera on.
#2 Slow down that shutter speed. You want to aim for exposure of 1-15 seconds for most firework shots in order to capture the colour trails of light. This will take your print from plain lights in the sky to fully bloomed fireworks. If you absolutely must try to shoot these by hand or if you forget the tripod, increase your ISO so that you can obtain a shorter exposure with a similar effect (note, increasing ISO too high will result in grainy shadows in your photo)
#3 Pick a spot at the right distance. You want a spot that is not right under the fireworks but not too far away. Pick a spot that puts some of the action in between you and your fireworks so that you can capture silhouettes as well as just a fancy looking light trail photo. This will give your photo more depth as well.
#4 Don’t stop clicking. Nowhere near every shot that you take will be phenomenal. It’s all about you trying to judge the exact moment that the people doing the show will fire the rocket at. You will get way more imperfect shots than perfect ones by far. The key is to keep clicking and keep trying until you eventually get some that you are satisfied with.