Best Ways to Photograph Fireworks

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Last Updated: Jul 7, 2014

After the 4th of July, it seems like you have also developed a passion for taking pictures of spectacular fireworks display. There will be more Independence Day to come, and many other events that will feature fireworks. If you want to take pictures in these celebrations, there are several things you should consider.

Here are the best tips on how to take photographs of fireworks:

  1. Use a tripod, because you need slower shutter and less movement to keep your camera still since fireworks display usually happens at night.
  2. Remote or cable release will also help you keep your cameras still as you take pictures of fireworks at night.
  3. You should know where you would be shooting ahead of time, so that you won’t be scrambling for locations.
  4. If you want to include people or landscapes, make sure your view is properly levelled, whether vertically or horizontally.
  5. Experiment with your focal length, because you can capture the whole scene with a wide angle.
  6. Set your aperture to f/8 or f/11, instead of f/2.8 because the bright fireworks may make your images look washed or overexposed.
  7. Set your shutter speed only at “Bulb” or “B” so that you can trigger your shutter just before the fireworks take flight and explode.
  8. If you are using a tripod set your ISO to 100 or 200 so that your image will be clear with only a minimum amount of grain.
  9. Never turn your flash on, because fireworks can get too bright.
  10. Switch to manual focus; because your auto-focus will make it hard for your camera to properly focus on the fireworks.
  11. You experiment with your focus. An out of focus image may give you a more colourful and fun image with broken lights.

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