Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to photograph firework displays using the following Lomo cameras: La Sardina, Diana F+, Diana Mini, Sprocket Rocket, Holga, Fisheye No.2, and Lubitel 166.
Fireworks and Lomography go perfectly together, because you can have lots of analogue fun with techniques like multiple exposure, colour filter effects and cross processing.
These photographs taken by Lomographers are proof that you can capture some interesting images of fireworks using Lomo cameras!
So, here is a quick step-by-step guide to get you started photographing fireworks using some popular Lomo cameras. Remember that films, cameras, and even fireworks can vary greatly, so you need to be armed with the experimental spirit inherent in every Lomographer!
The basics of what you’ll need:
- A Lomo camera (recommended: La Sardina, Diana F+, Diana Mini, Sprocket Rocket, Holga, Fisheye No.2, Lubitel 166)
- Rolls of films (ISO 100 or 200)
- A sturdy tripod
- Cable release (useful but not essential)
- Location scout: find a place where you can get a good clear view of the fireworks display. If you want a dynamic shot, try and get as close as you can (but remember to keep within a safety distance!).
- Setting up: load the camera with a new roll of film, attach a cable release (if applicable) and mount it on a tripod. Set up the camera(s) as follows:
– Sprocket Rocket, Diana Mini: adjust the aperture setting to ‘cloudy’.
– Holga, Fisheye no.2, La Sardina, Diana F+: select ‘B’ shutter setting.
– Lubitel 166: select ‘B’ shutter speed, at aperture F8.
- Wind on the film, focus at infinity and beyond, then you are ready for blast off!
Catch the action!
- When the firework display starts, check the composition of the first few bursts of fireworks, frame the shot and point the camera at the right angle in the sky.
- Keep one eye in the camera’s viewfinder, and another on the scene in front of you. Press the cable release or shutter button as soon a firework appears in the frame. Keep the shutter pressed down until it has fully exploded (as a very rough guide, for a shot with the firework filling the entire frame, about 5-second or so shutter speed). As the firework fades away, release the button to close the shutter.
- That’s it! Wind the film, repeat and try again!
Have you got any good shots of fireworks captured with the cameras mentioned above? Or do you have any insights into photographing fireworks using other Lomo cameras? Please let us know!
Interested in knowing more? This article is part of a three-part ‘masterclass’ on photographing fireworks.
Don’t forget to check out:
Up Next: Part 3: Ten On-Location Tips for Photographing Firework Displays