How to Photograph Fireworks

Fireworks are one of the easiest subjects to take a picture of, but only if you know the basics. To help you learn them, here are a few techniques that will guide you to capturing impressive pyrotechnic shots.

Plan ahead

Arrive way before the fireworks display begins to get a good location. A good location is where you have a clear view of the show. Try to avoid light sources such as street lights or lamps as they will become overexposed splotches on your photos. In addition, avoid silhouettes of people, plants, and tress.

Photograph Fireworks

Turn off your flash

Since the fireworks are bright enough, you don’t need your camera flash. If you cannot turn your flash off, try to cover it with a piece of cloth or tape.

Use long exposure times when taking your shots

Fireworks look good on photos because they are taken for several seconds rather than for a fraction of second, capturing both the initial explosion and the trail they leave behind. Setting the exposure between 1 to 15 seconds can produce good results. Experiment with the length of exposure time. Make it shorter or longer and see the difference with each photo.

If your camera doesn’t allow you to change the exposure time, shoot in either Fireworks or Night mode. If both settings are unavailable, take a lot of shots. Use the Continuous Shots mode of your camera. That way, you have more chances to take excellent photos.

Use a tripod

Using a tripod keeps a camera steady, making it the most essential equipment to have when photographing fireworks. You can take photos without a tripod but they will not turn out as spectacular.

If your camera is shaky during the long exposure, the paths of light that the fireworks create will appear uneven in your photos. You can avoid this, however, by moving the camera up and down or in a circular motion, thus creating a special effect and an innovative shot.

Photograph Fireworks

Use a remote control or cable release

With the remote control or cable release, you are able to take the shot without having to move the camera. Manually pressing the shutter button can cause slight shaking, even if your camera is on a tripod.

If you do not have a remote control or cable release, you can use the timer function so that it takes a few seconds before the shot is taken. You’ll need to anticipate the fireworks though, so that the shutter will open at the correct time.

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment


About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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