How To: Fireworks Photography

Fireworks are spectacular displays to watch, but when it comes to taking pictures, there’s always some difficulty involved in getting the best shot. Although it may be tricky, it’s not impossible with our tips and tricks on how to take fireworks photos.

Whether using your iPhone or a professional camera, these simple steps guarantee great (and share worthy) photo results:

For iPhone use:

Turn off Flash: Flash will often result in a distracting glare in your photo. Flash use can easily affect the quality of the photos others are taking around you.

Lock Focus on the Screen: By tapping on the screen above the fireworks to lock its focus, your photo will come out much clearer.

Shoot in burst mode: Holding down the capture button will allow you to take a burst of consecutive photos to capture the moving fireworks.

Try long exposure: For cool light trail effects, try a long exposure app and make sure to hold the phone still while taking the photo.

Edit your photo: Adjust the contrast and saturation in your photos to make the firework colors pop. If you’re new to photo editing, check out these 5 photo editing apps that you can download directly to your phone.

How to take a fireworks photo

For Camera Use:

Turn off Flash: Like smartphones, flash use results in a distracting glare in your photos.

Turn on Manual Mode: In manual mode you are able to control the exposure and aperture yourself. A recommended starting point is ISO 100, f/11, at ½ second.

Use bulb mode: Bulb mode lets you create timed exposures based on changing conditions, perfect for fireworks shots.

Use the right lens for close up shots: If you want a tight shot that shows detail, use a zoom lens that goes to at least 200mm.

Use a tripod: Have a tripod? Bring one if you’re using a DSLR. If a tripod is unavailable to you, coolers, wall ledges, and other flat surfaces can help steady your camera.

Arrive Early for the Best Shots

The early bird gets the worm. Cities across the nation put on some of the best fireworks shows for the Fourth of July and New Years Eve. With popular shows come the biggest crowds, so make sure you head over to the site early to ensure a great vantage point of the fireworks display.

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