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Learn how to optimize the Canon A610/A620 for a fireworks scene
Tags:Canon A610/A620: Set for Fireworks Scene,canon a610/a620,digital camera tutorial,how to use a digital camera,lb guides,photography lessons,set for fireworks scene
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Setting up the camera for a fireworks picture can be very simple or it can be a little bit more tricky and I will show you why you might want or need to use this slightly more tricky method. Let’s go over the easy method first. Go ahead and set your mode dial to SCN. This is your scene mode and this will allow you to access the fireworks scene. In the back at the top right, you’ll notice the scene icon. Currently, mine is set to foliage, press the right or left navigation by means to change that. So I will just scroll until I get the fireworks.
This is the easy mode. And basically in this scene, the flash is forced off, my ISO is set to auto, my white balance is set to auto, my shutter speed will be set to two seconds. That is a very, very long exposure to the fireworks which is great and my aperture will be set to F8.0 which is also good because I make sure that everything is in focus. Now, because the shutter speed is two seconds, you’re going to absolutely have to use a tripod, so go ahead and insert that in the tripod mount. Set it out, press the shutter button halfway, focus on the target and then slowly press the button the rest of the way to snap the picture. It will take two seconds for the picture to get fully exposed so you want to hold the camera very, very steady.
Usually, when using a tripod in such slow shutter speeds, I highly recommend using the timer mode. However in this case, because fireworks happen so fast, you want to be ready and you want the picture to be captured as soon as you press the shutter button. You can’t really use the timer mode so make sure that you hold the camera very, very steady on the tripod. Don’t press the button and then let go because the camera will shake a little bit. So just keep your hands steady on the tripod around the camera.
Next, I’ll show you the slightly more complicated and I’ll tell you why you might want to use this. With my experience, sometimes, it can be a little bit difficult to focus on fireworks especially if you want to focus first in order to reduce the lag time, so you may want to use the manual focus mode which that scene doesn’t allow you to set the manual focus. So in order to set to manual focus and at the same time set a long shutter speed like two seconds and have everything else, you need to use the manual mode. Now, this might be a little bit scary for some of you but it’s really not that difficult. Let me show you how to do this.
Set your mode dial to manual. In the back, press the function button to access the function menu. Now, my ISO is up to 50 which is great. That’s exactly what I want. Go down to white balance and set the daylight. That’s also very good. That’s going to get me the best colors from those fantastic fireworks. My drive mode is set to single shot again. In this case, I don’t recommend using the timer mode because it probably won’t capture the fireworks the way you want to. So let’s keep going down. Effects is off, that’s great. Flash is actually not being used so this is irrelevant. And the metering should be set to evaluative. So right now, you can see that mine is in the center. That’s center weighted average. Let’s press the left button to get to evaluative right there. Okay. Let’s press the function button to exit the function menu. My flash icon indicates that my flash is turned off. This is great. If this is not the case with you, go ahead and press the flash button or the up navigation button to scroll through the different flash options until you get to that no flash icon. Next, you’ll notice at the bottom, currently, mine is highlighted on the shutter speed and I want to use the left and right navigation buttons to change that value to two seconds. Mine right now is set to two seconds so I’ll just leave it there.
And then, I want to set my aperture to F8.0. Just press the exposure compensation button right here to change what you are going to be setting. So I’ll just press that and you’ll see. Now, I’m adjusting the aperture. So change that to F8.0 by pressing the right navigation button to increase the F number and make the aperture a lot smaller which will get everything in focus. Lastly, the reason why we’re using this mode is to access the manual focus. You just press the down navigation button twice to access the manual focus. Now, you’ll see that my F is highlighted which means I can use my right and left navigation buttons to change my focusing distance. You want to press the right navigation button until my gauge is focusing and the ruler gets to infinity. Infinity is exactly what I want for fireworks because they’re at a long enough distance. They’re far enough away that I don’t need to calculate what their distance is and infinity is just fine.
So again, moving this highlighted square from one setting to the other if you want to change from manual focus again to the shutter, you just press your exposure compensation button and I’ll go over to shutter speed and you can either increase that or decrease it depending on the effect that you want in your picture. I would highly recommend leaving the aperture priority or the aperture setting at F8.0 and just adjusting the shutter speed and manual focus to infinity. And that should do it.