Tips on photographing fireworks

With the 4th of July coming up this week its time again for some more tips on creating great photos of fireworks. I wish everyone a great 4th of July and remember to share some of your photos with everyone on our Facebook wall

For those of you heading out to capture some fireworks this week here are some tips to help you get the best images possible.

1) Start with the right ISO.
You would generally think that photographing at night you would need a very high ISO over 1600 to get a good exposure. However for fireworks the best ISO to set your camera at is actually ISO 100. The fireworks are so bright that shooting at ISO 100 is plenty fast enough to capture the light from the fireworks.

2) Manually Focus
Your camera’s autofocus isn’t going to work well in the dark night sky and you will want to prefocus your camera to be ready for the bursts of light. The best way to focus is to set the lens just a little less than on infinity. Also to ensure you have enough range of focus it’s best to set your aperture anywhere between f/8 and f/16.

Fireworks July 4th in Pittsburgh!

3) Bring a flashlight
Controlling your settings in the dark can be very tricky. Having a nice flashlight will be a huge help when you are out in the dark.

4) Capture multiple firework bursts

One fun thing to do with photographing fireworks is to keep your shutter speed open for a long time to capture multiple firework bursts. Try keeping your shutter open for 5 seconds, 10 seconds or even longer and see how this effects your photo. Another great tip for when you are capturing really long exposures and maybe don’t want any ambient light to sneak in is to simply have a black piece of cardboard that you use to cover the lens. Once the first firework burst is done cover the lens with the black cardboard and then remove it right before the 2nd burst comes into the sky.

Macy's 4th of July fireworks 2010, New York City

5) Watch out for smoke

Fireworks are large explosions and can create a lot of smoke. You will want a really clean looking shot of the fireworks against the sky and smoke can get in the way of that. Try to figure out where the wind will be blowing and position yourself upstream of the wind.

6) Experiment, Experiment, Experiment and have fun
Really the most important part if you are shooting something for the first time (or really even if you have many times) is to keep experimenting and trying new things out. Have fun and see how creative you can be.

For more tips on photographing fireworks check out last years 5 tips on photographing fireworks. Also to make sure you don’t miss any of our articles make sure to subscribe to our updates by entering your email at the top right of the website.

If you like our articles remember to share them on Facebook, Twitter or +1 them on Google. I appreciate you spreading the word to your photo friends! Also remember to always start a conversation by leaving a Facebook comment at the bottom of the page. I love to hear from you.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

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.

Share This Post On
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *