DefaultUserName's Guide to Firework Photography

7 min read

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MadejyalookGraphics's avatar
Here in the US, Independence Day, aka the 4th of July, is coming up here pretty quick. That means a lot of fireworks. I have photographed fireworks many times, and screwed the majority of them up. So for those of you who are new to this, and any long exposure photography in general, learn from my mistakes.

  • For the love of all that is holy, use a tripod! You really need to stabilize your camera for any long-exposure photos. I don't care how long you say you can hold still, you can't.

    • Use either a remote or a 2-second self timer. Even just the little shake from pushing the shutter button can show in your photo.

      • Unless you have a remote that works with it, don't use the "bulb" function (meaning the shutter stays open for as long as you hold down the button). Again, you can't stay still enough. The photo may look fine when you preview it on your camera, but it won't when it's full sized. I learned this the hard way.

        • Stay zoomed all the way out. You can always crop it later, but it sucks when you realize you didn't get the whole thing because you were zoomed in too much. On a similar note, shoot at the highest resolution you can (if you don't already).

          • Try new things. Not all fireworks are aerial, even the little ones on the ground can make some interesting photos, just make sure you're not close enough that it'll hurt your or your camera. Writing things and doodling with sparklers is fun too, just don't expect them to come out perfect, it's hard to see what you're doing with those.

            • Incorporate the surroundings into your photos. Architecture, city lights, people, can all add an interesting effect to your photos. You shoot a single firework, whoop-de-doo. You get them in context, there's something more to it.

              • If you have a DSLR, play around with the shutter speed and aperture. it depends on what all is in the picture, there is no one "right" answer for this.
                If you have a point and shoot, there's usually a fireworks option on there that uses a longer shutter speed.   

Some of My Mistakes
Firework Mistake 1 by MadejyalookGraphics Firework Mistake 2 by MadejyalookGraphics Firework Mistake 3 by MadejyalookGraphics

...and last but not least,
The Feature
fireworks by casseybunn Fireworks at by sanie-photography Firework 8 by Kalarm Purple bomb. by Triwingz Kaboom by cimsagro frwrks by c-ontradictio-n:thumb127369819::thumb127343296: Red Alert 2 by plushyk0w:thumb127306602::thumb127255487: Pews by Poohen 3-in-1 by MadejyalookGraphics Wild Blossom by MadejyalookGraphics landing on mars by TeapotMysteries Happy new year by santa-naz
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LovelySparrow's avatar
Thanks for featuring my photography. It was kind of you :D