Photographing Fireworks

November 06, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

It is that time of year again. Fourth of July and fireworks. For photographers, it becomes a great chance to get out and photograph fireworks. Photographing fireworks is fairly easy. The tough part is not having too many chances to practice photographing fireworks. However, I am including some tips on how to best photograph fireworks that have worked for me. The first thing is gear. A tripod is a must along with a shutter release. The tripod allows you to setup and keep the same position and also allows for sharp images when photographing with shutter speeds of a second or more. The shutter release allows to open the shutter and keep it open manually to capture the fireworks. I personally use the Vello ShutterBoss II Timer Remote which can be found here: For settings, it is best to use the Bulb setting on your camera. I also use manual focus and set it to infinity. For aperture, I use between f8.0 to f16.0 for the best results. I also use a low ISO such as 100. Higher ISOs aren’t necessary when photographing fireworks. Make sure to also find your place and get setup in advance. It is a good idea to photograph the same fireworks display from a previous year because you have an idea of where the fireworks will be going off from. Once you are setup and the fireworks display starts; when you hear the launch of the firework shell, go ahead and open the shutter and leave it open until after the firework shell explodes. You can even leave the shutter open to get multiple firework shells exploding at once. However, I feel that the best photographs are the ones that have only one or two fireworks shell exploding. More fireworks shells exploding will tend to get more of a cluttered feeling. As an additional tip, I also recommend including not just the fireworks but also some scenery as well. Some of my best photographs were when I took some of a fireworks display next to Grand Lake in Oklahoma. I was positioned on one side of the lake with the fireworks going off on the other side. I was able to capture the fireworks reflecting off the water to give a really nice effect. I hope these tips help you capture some really great photographs. But remember to have fun and stay safe and have a Happy Independence Day! IMG_5064IMG_5064Fireworks display at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri, on Independence Day



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