Learn how to Optimize the Panasonic G1/GH1 for fireworks scenes in this digital Photography tutorial from LBGuides.
Tags:Panasonic G1/GH1 - Fireworks,Better Pictures,camera setup,digital camera guide,digital camera tutorial,Digital Photography,fireworks,g1,gh1,panasonic
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For firework pictures, there are couple things that you need to set up to best optimized the camera. One thing you may notice is this camera has different scene modes and one of them is night scene in which you can set illuminations as the night portrait option. Well this is not going to be the best for fireworks but probably it won’t produce the long shutter speed you want for this type of scene. So I don’t recommend using this however, what you can do is just go to the shutter priority mode. Turn the mode dial to S and here you can actually set a shutter speed of your choice and the camera will set the aperture accordingly.
So you need to use the camera’s dial up in the front to change the shutter speed setting and you want to set this to about two seconds and make sure the ISO is set to 100. This will get you the best cleanest colors out of the fireworks and to make sure the white balance is also properly set. Press the WB button right. Right now, mine is set to a custom Kelvin setting. I can choose daylight if I want more accurate colors out of the fireworks. If I want to enhance the colors in the fireworks, I can choose cloudy or shade in order to warm up the tones of the fireworks or as I had it set before, I can set my own Kelvin temperature setting by pressing the up navigation button as it indicates down here and now, I can either use the up and down navigation buttons or the dial in the front to change the setting.
The higher the number, the warmer the tones in the more reds are introduced. The lower the number, the more blues are introduced. So I can have a very, very cool blue color if I choose 2500 Kelvin. Go ahead and press set if this is what you like. With such a long shutter speed, two seconds, I have to use a tripod in order to keep the camera steady. I will not be able to handhold this picture and expect a sharp image. So even with the image stabilization set, two seconds is much too long to handhold this shut. In fact, if you are using a tripod, you can go ahead and turn the image stabilization to save some battery.
So I’ll do that right here. Just turn that off and the last thing I want to do is set my focus. I don’t want to point the camera up at the fireworks, press the shutter button halfway and have it not be able to focus. If the camera won’t focus then the way it’s currently set up, I also won’t be able to take the picture.
So turn your focusing dial to MF, manual focus and your going to use your focusing ring right here to focus the camera. Now, anytime you move this ring, you’ll notice that the image is magnified. I’ve now zoomed into my picture. Its just that every time I move the ring, the image becomes magnified in the screen. As soon as I let go and that it sit for a little or I press the set button to cancel, it jumps back to the regular size. So, look up at the sky and when you see those fireworks, turn your focusing ring so it will magnify the image and try to focus on those fireworks. The other thing you can do, because fireworks are such at a distance is focus on anything that is so far away such as a building or bridge near by. You can focus on that and that should set the camera just fine for the fireworks themselves as well.
Now that the manual focus is set, my shutter speed is set, my ISO is properly set and I’ve chosen an appropriate white balance, I can go ahead and take my picture. I want to press the shutter button halfway, so the camera can choose the proper aperture setting. Right now, you can see mine is set to 22, its red and both values are flashing because the camera sees so much light in my scene. It knows the picture will be over exposed. In your case at night, you won’t have this effect.
So now the camera is sitting on your tripod. You have the camera pointed up at the sky. The shutter button is pressed halfway and you’re ready for the fireworks to explode. As soon as they explode, go ahead and gently press the shutter button the rest of the way to take the picture. I would not recommend letting go of the camera because that might the shake the camera. The camera might shake a little bit and you don’t want that but just keep it held very, very steady.
Now for even better results, what you want is to use the remote release cable. You can get a remote cable that will connect to the camera right into this port right here and you’ll be able to press the shutter button from the cable. In that way, you’re not actually holding onto the camera itself and so you’ll get absolutely no shaking or whatsoever in the camera. The remote release cable does not come with this camera. It’s an accessory that you can purchase separately.
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