Photography Tips – How to Photograph Fireworks Displays

Fireworks photography

Fireworks Displays are something that evokes a lot of emotion in people as they are not only beautiful and spectacular to watch but they also are often used to celebrate momentous occasions.

Here I’d share a few fireworks photography tips:

1. Use a Tripod
The most important tip is to secure your digital camera to something that will ensure it doesn’t move during the taking of your shots. The best way to keep your camera still is with a tripod.

2. Switch off your Flash
Keep in mind that your camera’s flash will only have a reach of a few meters and in the case of fireworks even if they were this close a flash wouldn’t really have anything to light except for some smoke which would distract from the real action.

3. Framing Your Shot
There are two main ways of framing shots in all types of photography, vertically (portrait) or horizontally (landscape). Both can work in fireworks photography. Horizontal shots can work if you’re going for more of a landscape shot with a wider focal length.
Always check your foreground & background of shots and also consider what focal lengths you might want to use and choose appropriate lenses at this time.

4. Focal Length
One of the hardest parts of photographing fireworks is having your camera trained on the right part of the sky at the right time. This is especially difficult if you’re shooting with a longer focal length and are trying to take more tightly cropped shots.

5. Aperture
A common question around photographing fireworks displays is what aperture to use. Apertures in the mid to small range tend to work reasonably well and would usually shoot somewhere between f/8 to f/16.

6. Shutter Speed
Probably more important to get right than aperture is shutter speed. Fireworks move and as a result the best photographs of them capture this movement meaning you need a nice long exposure. You can also experiment with set shutter speeds to see what impact it will have. Don’t keep your shutter open too long.

7. ISO
Shooting at a low ISO is preferable to ensure the cleanest shots possible. Stick to ISO 100 and you should be fine.

8. Remote Release
One way to ensure your camera is completely still during fireworks shots is to use remote release device or self timer.

9. Shoot in Manual Mode
Get the best results when shooting in manual exposure and manual focus modes. Auto focusing in low light can be very difficult for many cameras and you’ll end up missing a lot of shots.

10. Experiment and Check Results
Take a few shots at the start and check to see that they are OK or not before capturing the moments.



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