Tips for Photographing Fireworks

Here’s our Independence Day gift to you and the arts…

You’ve waited long enough for the 4th. Work’s off and you’ve packed your camera, tripod, and you just found the perfect spot to watch some mind blowing fireworks – or at least we hope so! Because you want more than just a picture of fireworks on a hot and muggy summer day, here are some basic tips we wanted to share with you as you make the most out of your holiday:

What you need: your camera, tripod, and a lens.

What to keep in mind: generally, fireworks are long exposure shots – meaning, using a long-duration shutter speed to capture images while blurring or moving. 

Therefore, it is important to pre-set your camera in a setting called “long exposure noise reduction.” Make sure to turn it on before getting your fireworks shots (Note: remember to turn off this setting after each session to save battery).

- Check the area first and be sure to find opportunities for good landmarks to add character to your photographs.
- Set your tripod to make sure your camera is stable.
- Turn on long exposure noise reduction.

If you are in Manual Mode:

- Set your ISO to 100.

- Set your aperture from f11 to f22. 

- Sunset shots: exposure approximately 1/10 second. As the light goes down, set your shutter speed to a longer shutter speed to give you the effects of trailing fireworks. 

If you are in Shutter Speed Mode:

- Set your ISO to 100
- Set your Shutter Speed from 10 to 20 seconds.
- Camera sets the aperture value (f stop) for you.

Tip! Cover the lens in between bursts to avoid the smoke left behind by fireworks.

Additional tips: 

  • zoom out to get the overall space and surroundings of the fireworks
  • incorporate water reflection into your shots
  • don’t forget close-ups of fireworks

Hope this is helpful to you.

Share your shots with us if you get a chance!

Happy Independence Day!


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