My top five tips for shooting fireworks effectively.
Tripod: You can't take a good firework shot without one. The second or two you need the shutter open will blur the image completely if its not steady
Trigger Release: You can do it without, I did this year after all, but you will end up seeing less of the fireworks because you are focusing on carefully pressing the button!.
Manual Focus: In the time it takes for the camera to autofocus, the moment will be lost. Accept the first couple of explosions are tests you will use to get your focus right. Focus. Review the image in as close a zoom as you can, and adjust if needed. Better to miss the whole first half and find the perfect spot than to rush the focus and finish with a lot of photos, but blurry ones!
Location, location, location: Think about where you are and where the fireworks will explode. 9 times out of 10, the explosions will be in exactly the same spot, so once you've focused and aimed, its just about pressing the button, you don't even need to look at the camera. But remember, if you are near the front, you need the widest angle lens you have, if you are much further back, you might even want to use a zoom!
Enjoy it! Don't forget you are there to watch fireworks, don't spent the whole time staring at the screen of a little camera when above a beautiful display is going off!