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Old 06-21-2006, 05:43 AM   #1
bazzanoid
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Question Shooting fireworks - tripod or no?

Hi all,

my only beef with shooting fireworks is the issue of a tripod.... since we're coming on vacation by plane, luggage limits are an issue and the less i can pack the better. I'm leaving my dSLR at home and bringing my Panasonic LS2 P&S with me for convenience and it's general 'non-intrusion of the whole disney thing' as DW puts it

Aside from resting the camera on a nearby fence/bin/post, do you reckon i can 'get away' with just holding it by hand (in fireworks mode, naturally)? I don't have a problem with the camcorder (that said, DW will be using it as I'll be shooting with the LS2, so it might be a problem ) as it's own modes are excellent and keep the atmosphere nicely in check.

S'pose i've always got hi-res screencaps from the camcorder as backup if the snaps go elbows-up!

(Camcorder is a Sony TRV-238E btw, lovely machine)
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Old 06-21-2006, 06:43 AM   #2
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there is absolutely no way you can take fireworks handheld with astonishing result.

Unless you have rock-steady hand that can hold for at least 1 sec without any shake whatsoever.
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Old 06-21-2006, 06:48 AM   #3
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thought as much... darn it.

sooo... know any good fence posts i can lean on?

All joking aside, i figured as much. I'll just pop the camera onto continuous shooting and hope for the best - as i said, i can use caps from the camcorder if not as it produces a damn fine colour!
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Old 06-21-2006, 07:23 AM   #4
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with point and shoot, you can just buy a $50 lightweight tripod and leave it in the locker for the entire day until you need it. Alternatively you can buy a cheap tripod as soon as you arrived in the US and chuck it on the way out back to UK.

A bad tripod is better than no tripod.
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Old 06-21-2006, 07:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazzanoid
thought as much... darn it.

sooo... know any good fence posts i can lean on?

All joking aside, i figured as much. I'll just pop the camera onto continuous shooting and hope for the best - as i said, i can use caps from the camcorder if not as it produces a damn fine colour!


For Wishes, try the concrete wall on the bridge *just* as you come out of Tomorrowland. Just past the Stitch attraction and the metal contraption that says "Tomorrowland" on it. It's on the right.

Get there early, it's a prime spot for photographers.
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Old 06-21-2006, 07:32 AM   #6
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How about one of these it's called a Gorillapod. It's made for Compact digital cameras.

http://www.joby.com/
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Old 06-21-2006, 07:48 AM   #7
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I have had excellent results shooting long exposure fireworks at Disney without a tripod. For bracing, I've used: bridge railings, fence railings, lamp posts, and tops of trash cans. Depending on the location and how crowded Disney is, you can also sit down cross legged and rest your camera where your legs cross. I hate the thought of lugging around a tripod at WDW. It's supposed to be a vacation, not a working photo shoot.

I'm also a big believer in the grammatically incorrect Apple marketing slogan of "Think Different". Look around you, improvise, me creative. Don't just slap your camera on a tripod at eye-level like a lot of other people do.
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Old 06-21-2006, 08:45 AM   #8
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I've used a relatively small collapsable tripod that slips into my fanny pack. I used it succcessfully last year to shoot IllumiNations, by propping it on the railing of the bridge between England and France. It's lightweight plastic, and, once it's packed away, you never even know you have it.
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Old 06-21-2006, 09:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Grannell
there is absolutely no way you can take fireworks handheld with astonishing result.

Unless you have rock-steady hand that can hold for at least 1 sec without any shake whatsoever.
Actually, I've been able to take some rather nice fireworks photos without a tripod or monopod. I'd rather have one mind you but it can be done. Just need to be very, very steady and don't breathe. I took a nice one in front of the castle, just sitting on the ground and held the camera tight to my chest...using my body as the brace.

As I get older, it's getting harder to do it though...so I usually bring one of the pods with me now.
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Old 06-21-2006, 09:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcg0317
How about one of these it's called a Gorillapod. It's made for Compact digital cameras.

http://www.joby.com/
i see it's coming out with a dslr one...anyone ever used this (i mean the p&s one), how small is it? do the legs bend up or something for storing?
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Old 06-21-2006, 09:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pxlbarrel
Actually, I've been able to take some rather nice fireworks photos without a tripod or monopod. I'd rather have one mind you but it can be done. Just need to be very, very steady and don't breathe. I took a nice one in front of the castle, just sitting on the ground and held the camera tight to my chest...using my body as the brace.

As I get older, it's getting harder to do it though...so I usually bring one of the pods with me now.

well i've tried and i've ended up with something that looks like highly caffineated snakes in mid air
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Old 06-21-2006, 09:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jann1033
well i've tried and i've ended up with something that looks like highly caffineated snakes in mid air


Well, I forgot to add that the photos that do turn out the best when handheld are in front of the castle and I was, more or less, shooting on a level plane. If I had to aim the camera into the sky while sitting down, the photos would be look like your snakes.

And....take 10 photos, maybe 2 will work out.
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:02 AM   #13
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My last three shows have been handheld and I get by due to sheer quanity of shots...usually about 3-700 per show. Unfortunatly out of all of that I MIGHT get 5-20 good shots.

In three weeks me and the wife are going on a "kid free" photography trip. We will both have tripods for the shows.

Oh and thanks to the above poster for the location idea's regarding the bridge.

Here are some examples. Even they are not that good. Both are crooked and noisy.



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Old 06-21-2006, 12:39 PM   #14
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Best bet if you don't want to carry around a tripod or even bring one. Get a table top tripod (very small and kinda tough to use with a dSLR, excellent for P&S) or a travel tripod. I have both. The travel tripod closes to 13 1/2 inches and fits nicely in my backback (about $20 at amazon.com). The table top is small enough to fit in my front pocket.

The travel tripod doesn't open very high, but at MK I found one of the 8 trash cans between Casey's and the Castle. The travel tripod fit nicely right on top of the trash can without extending the legs and this brought it almost up to face hight (I'm just over 6' tall).

You can get good shots of the firework bursts if you brace yourself against something and handhold for 1 second or less, however,,, you really wont get the great coloring of the castle. At best it will show some coloring, but chances are you'll only get a showdow outline of the top of the castle.

To get both the castle in its full form of color and the huge bursts and trails you need to have a tripod so you can set the shutter to 3 to 10 seconds. (this is whether you have a dSLR OR a P&S).

If you have a P&S and want really great Wishes pictures. Spend the $15 or so, stick the table top tripod in your bag or pocket and find one of the trash cans. I personally thought the 2nd one up from Casey's on the left side as you head towards the castle was the best one. Get there an hour before Specto and hang out. You'll get an up close spot for Spector and a great spot of Wishes. Whip out the tripod, set your P&S to M (manual) and fire away and don't stop firing away till its over.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:41 PM   #15
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also depends whether you want to enlarge it. The fireworks pics I like, I tend to blow it up to 12"x18", so any shakes will be very apparent at that size.
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