Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fireworks by the Sea - 4k video test with the Fuji X-T2

We watched a 4th of July fireworks last night from a beach in Delray, Florida. There was something quite mystical in hearing the sound of the ocean nearby and the fireworks off in the distance.  I had decided to do a 4K video of the fireworks with a Fuji X-T2 and the Fuji 55-200mm zoom. The variable aperture wasn't a problem because fireworks usually requires a fairly stopped down aperture.

When shooting fireworks, I always work in manual mode and make adjustments on the fly while monitoring the results in the LCD screen. The intensity of the fireworks varies tremendously during a display and can often wash out as smoke builds up. For most of the shooting, I kept the aperture and shutter speed set and varied the exposure by changing the ISO up or down. The ISO varied from 200-1600 at different times, but the average was around 400.

Below is a one of the sample videos along with some stills of the night time ocean I took before the event, along with some other stills I took of the fireworks themselves.


  1. beautiful work as usual. i thought shutter speed for video had to be 1/50th or 1/60th... or were you referring to the shutter speed for the stills?
    and... why is 4K necessary in general if it will be viewed on a normal screen? just the option to crop? thanks!

  2. The general rule of thumb is to use a video shutter speed that is about double the fps. I was shooting at 24fps so that would have given me 1/50th (1/60th) of a second. Instead, I slowed it down to 1/24th second, which is the maximum I could go down. This did give me an extra stop but also added more blurring to the moving fireworks, which I feel makes them look better. The rest of my exposure control was done either with the aperture, or by changing the ISO. I usually opted for the later.
    For the still shots, I wanted a much slower shutter speed to create even more blur on the bursting fireworks. I did a blog post on how to photograph fireworks here:

    …and here:

  3. I was shooting for stock photography, where 4K is very much in demand today. Also for stock, shooting to the latest high standard gives the work greater longevity when 4K will become more widely used. - t