You know that thing where photographers take awesome pictures of trailing sparkler lights?
This first picture isn’t it.
I’ve tried for years to get that figured out.
You know what I learned? Lot’s of stuff! Mostly lots of ways to fail.
But then my camera said “no”.
This is the closest I got:
But then guess what?? I learned something AWESOME! Wanna know what it is??
It’s this amazing thing called “bulb”.
No idea why it’s called that, but if you turn your shutter speed all the way down, to the very end of the slowest side, you’ll get to “bulb”. When your shutter is set at bulb, the shutter will stay open as long as you hold down the shutter button! Forever, if you want to!
That’s the secret!
But, there’s a trick to it-
See, if you hold that shutter button down for, say, five seconds, you’re grabbing all of the awesome light motion, but you’re also grabbing super tons of light! You know what that gives you?
Super blown out pictures. Like, nothing but white.
So you can’t even see all of the awesome sparkler light action you caught.
Luckily, I can tell you how to fix that! You just have to compensate! You know that you’re holding that shutter button down, which means tons of light, so you have to change your OTHER settings to take in LESS light!
In other words, your aperture has to be more narrow, and your ISO has to be turned down. So, set your aperture at like f/10 or something, and turn your ISO way down to like ISO 100. That way you’ve shut out so much light that holding your shutter open won’t be a problem!
You’ll probably have to play around with your own camera a bit to find the perfect settings, but I ended up having so much fun once I figured this out!
In the past, I’ve always tried to make the people holding the sparklers go really fast, but now that’s not necessary! They can go slow, to make sure they get their writing correct. Way better!
I tried to get Chandler to write his name, but his sparkler died. So many possibilities!
Oh, and you can also get killer pictures of the fireworks themselves with this method:
Go try it! Seriously, it’s so fun. I am having such a blast figuring out my camera. Finally! It has taken me a couple of years to get to a place where I’m mostly happy with the shots I’m getting, but I’m finally there, so hang in there, and have fun!