Nadia Ramahi | Tips: How to Photograph Fireworks

Tips: How to Photograph Fireworks

July 04, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

That time of year is upon us again! Instead of a bunch of grainy, blurry instagram shots of fireworks, let's see some beautiful shots of those colorful splashes in the night sky.

Step 1

What You Need

  • An SLR camera. Or a point-and-shoot will do if it has a manual mode option.
  • A tripod. This is a absolutely necessary if you don't want camera shake ruining your photo.
  • Remote release OR use the self timer. Again, this is because of camera shake from touching the camera.

Step 2

Set your ISO low as it can go (usually 100 or 200). 

Step 3

Your aperture should be good around f/8 to f/11.

Step 4

For shutter speed, try 4 seconds. If you have a bulb option and a remote/cable release, you can press the shutter down for the entire burst.


And there you have it! Other things to think about...

  • Your positioning. You want to make sure that you are upwind so that the smoke from the fireworks won't obscure your shot. Also, be sure there are no power lines, trees, street lights, or other objects in your shot (unless you want them!)
  • Your photo doesn't just have to be a colorful burst on black. Try including building, bridges, a river, spectators, etc. in your shot to make it more interesting!
  • Turn off your flash! It's not gonna reach the fireworks anyway.
  • Take a LOT of shots. The more you take, the better chance you have of getting that "perfect" shot.


Have a happy Fourth of July, all! Have fun and stay safe. :)

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