• Artificial Light
  • full body
  • sparklers
  • night
  • Moment
  • Low Light
  • Guests
  • Germany
  • Free
  • Back lit
  • Fireworks
  • fire
  • Evening
  • Dark
  • Cuddle
  • Center Framed
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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Fireworks at a wedding can be a really wonderful thing to photograph. All the loud flashy explosions of light and color can really help you create some strong images. However, it is not always the easiest.

You may find that where the fireworks are and where the guests are standing is quite dark. This not only challenges you to get your exposure right but also to focus correctly. You may be able to manually focus while your camera is on a tripod but there’s a chance that your subject may even more out of frame. Since we chose to shoot this image handheld, we had to figure out a different means. That was timing. We had to wait until the fireworks lit up the sky, focus on our subjects and then fire away. This worked pretty darn well to be honest but we wouldn’t say its the “go to” method for capturing fireworks.

We could have opted to use a flash to light our subjects, but since we are not a big fan of images lit with a flash, especially outdoors, we relied entirely on the capability of our camera and it’s ISO performance. We also knew that when we came to edit this image, some pretty serious noise reduction would be needed. We concluded that it would be worth it.
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We saw our couple standing by the edge of the railing to watch the fireworks together and wanted to frame the whole image so the firework explosion filled the frame. We used our longer lens here to do just that. We also took this shot from behind, so we could include the couple entirely as well as some of their guests. It adds context to the frame by including the couple with the fireworks.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Focusing was definitely a challenge. We used our Single point autofocus since we could tell the camera to only lock on to one spot. This helped a lot since there was a lot of things the camera could have confused to focus on. We timed it right so that when a firework exploded, we had enough light for a brief moment to get our focus on point and hold there for the next chance. We also shot in burst mode, since this helps a lot.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The couple

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II
1/40 @ f/1.4 ISO5000 WB-Auto

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

Apart from the fireworks being the only source of light we had for this particular shot, we had only the very faint light from the venue behind us that helped.

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Light Type


Time of day



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

As we shot this image with a ridiculously high ISO, we did have to apply quite a bit of noise reduction. It turned out just fine in the end, although quite smooth. Keep in mind though that a moment is more important to your couple than a perfectly sharp, crisp image. It’s the memories that they get from that photo that will make them happy, and not how “technically perfect” it is.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


The biggest challenge we had here was exposing and focusing. Since we didn’t want to only use flash (as we prefer the natural looking shots), we really had to push our cameras to their limits. We knew there would be extra work in lightroom but we didn’t let that stop us.

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After getting some decent shots with the flash, we then chose to shoot without one. We waited for one firework to explode and quickly gauged our new exposure and adjusted accordingly. Then, once we were happy with the results (even if it wasn’t perfect), we then focused on our couple with the next fire work and fired away in burst mode. The burst mode helped us capture the explosive moments as well as find frames with minimal blur.

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Location Name

LA VILLA am Starnberger See

Location aDDRESS

LA VILLA am Starnberger See, Ferdinand-von-Miller-Straße, Pöcking

Loation Type

Wedding / Event Venue



Try and include your couple and / or guests in the shots you take of the fireworks. It not only adds context, but it also adds scale. It adds to that “Wow” factor of the fireworks.

Try move around your couple and shoot them very wide from behind, from above (if possible), even move in front of them and capture their reactions. Always be on your feet, and always check your exposure.

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