5 Tips on Photographing Fireworks

It’s that time of the year again here in the states where big firework displays come out to celebrate the 4th of July. Fireworks can be such amazing visual displays to photograph and with a few pointers to keep in mind fireworks are pretty easy to capture. Here are some tips on how to get the best firework photos. I wish everyone a great 4th of July and if you capture any firework photos remember to share them on our Facebook wall at http://www.facebook.com/digitalphotobuzz

5 Tips for good firework photos:

1) Get a sturdy tripod.
A sturdy tripod is one of the main pieces of equipment you need to photograph fireworks. You will normally be shooting at exposures that are a few seconds or longer. Having a strong tripod will help to ensure that there is no camera shake. There are lots of different manufactures for tripods and they come in all shapes and sizes. I always recommend going to a local camera store and trying some out before buying. Some things to look for aside from the overall strength of the tripod are how easy it is to setup/collapse and the head of the tripod. Make sure the controls of the head feel natural to you, since you will need to be making adjustments in a fast pace sometimes the head should have it’s controls in a place that feel comfortable to you.

2) Shutter release.
Even with a tripod, when you are photographing at very long exposures (a few seconds to minutes) there is still a good chance of camera shake. Just the vibration from you clicking the shutter can shake the camera and create a slight blur in your image. There are different types of remote shutter releases that can help you make sure you get a clean shot.

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3) Use the mirror lock up.
This goes hand in hand with the last tip. To make sure and reduce any camera shake use the mirror lock up on your camera. This will lock the mirror up before the shutter is clicked to prevent any shake on the camera and blur. Just remember to first compose the shot and then turn the mirror lock up on, since once you lock it up you won’t be able to view the image through your viewfinder.

4) Getting the perfect exposure.
Even though you are shooting at night this is the one time you can leave your fast prime lenses at home. Fireworks are so bright that you should be shooting with an aperture anywhere from f/8 to f/11 at iso 100 for the clearest shot. For the shutter speed you can experiment with different shutter speeds but they should beat least long enough to capture one full burst. One of the easiest way to time the fireworks right is to use the Bulb mode in your camera. When you set the shutter speed to bulb the shutter will open when you click the shutter and stay open until you hit the shutter again. This way you can open the shutter right before the firework pops and then close it right after. Also try keeping it open for a few different fireworks to pop so you can capture multiple fireworks in one frame.

5) Get a good vantage point.
One of the most important things with a great firework shot is your vantage point. Although fireworks on their own can be beautiful, when photographing them try and add some other visual elements into the shot. Look for the best angle where you can incorporate other visual elements like buildings, waterways or other items you can work into the composition. Try and focus on the entire shot not just what will be in the sky.

Here are a few cool firework shots to get you inspired. And remember to share any of your firework photos on our Facebook wall at http://www.facebook.com/digitalphotobuzz

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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1 Comment

  1. Very impressive shots dude! Very colorful and it makes every shots more naturally done well.


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