This is the type of photo every photographer “Wishes” to capture. Originally I had planned to shoot the Wishes Fireworks from an alternate perspective such as in Tomorrowland or Fantasyland but about 30 min before the Wishes Fireworks I decided to scout areas in front of the castle and ran into this spot. It was ideal as there was a fence and lawn in front of me, but the drawback was a larger tree in front and a light post to the right.

The camera settings for Fireworks are simple. Use a tripod, remote shutter release, low ISO and longer shutter speed (at least one second). I prefer to shoot in shutter priority mode with a fixed ISO of 100 or 200 and let the camera set the aperture.

The hard part of Fireworks is timing. You don’t want to have too long of a shutter or you will blow out the finale as many fireworks are exploding in the same spot. You also don’t want too short of a shutter as you will only get a partial burst. In addition to the right shutter speed you have to time when to hit the shutter release. Once you setup your tripod look through the viewfinder, or snap a few test shots, and see where in the sky you will capture. Then watch for the fireworks to fire and time it so your shutter is open just before the burst to capture the full explosion.

  • Aperture: ƒ/20
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Flash fired: no
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 3.2s