Pick a location that allows you to shoot fireworks in context with the environment.
* Position yourself UPWIND or CROSSWIND from the fireworks so the smoke doesn't obscure later bursts.
* Have something identifiable in the photo (monuments, statues, people, flags, bridges, landscapes, etc.)
* Water in the foreground to reflect the light is helpful.
* Look for a unique shooting location like the top of a building that provides a different perspective.
Equipment & Exposure
* EQUIPMENT - camera with manual controls, tripod and cable release. A black card, cloth, hat, etc. is helpful.
* Use a wide-to-tele zoom for flexibility in composition. Apertures around f/8 work best overall.
* Fast film/ISO settings are NOT needed - fireworks are bright! Use an ISO 100 setting/film speed.
* Set your camera for a time exposure, "B" (bulb) or "T" (time) setting. Use a cable release to begin and end the exposure to prevent camera shake. If you don't have a cable release, use the self timer on the camera.
* Cover the lens between bursts (w/ a black card, hat, etc.) and uncover the lens to record the bursts you want to
capture. Vary total exposure time from 1-30 seconds.
* Select bursts you like based on color, size, location, etc.