This week, our skies will light up with fantastic displays of fireworks. Neighbors will run down the streets with firecrackers and sparklers, and family and friends will gather to celebrate the birth of America. Capture these magical moments with your camera, and you’ll be able to relive the fiery festivities for years to come. Whether you take your photos with a 35mm camera or your smartphone, these tips will ensure all your fireworks photos come out beautifully this 4th of July.
Find the Skyline
Everyone has their favorite skyline. Find yours. Whether it’s in the big city, the mountains, or the rolling hills of a little suburbia, you’ll want to get elevated for the best vantage point. Find that high place and set up camp before the fireworks show so you can practice focusing your camera on the skyline or the horizon. With the farthest point in-focus, you should be able to get plenty of fireworks shots without any blurs or fuzzy focus issues.
Adjust Your Camera Settings
Camera settings can make or break your fireworks photo op. So use these tips to adjust your camera settings before trying to take any photos (these tips work for camera phones too!):
- Turn off the flash
- Turn the ISO down to 100 or 200
- Adjust focus to infinity for the fireworks display
- Set the shutter speed between f/11 and f/16
- Use a tripod
Don’t Forget the Sparklers
If city codes allow it, pick up a few sparklers before the big fireworks show. Pass them out among friends and family for a more intimate and carefree photo session. Sparklers make beautiful, nostalgia-inducing pictures that are fairly easy to capture. But don’t forget to adjust the focus to a closer range!
Put a Flag On It
Whether you’re taking pics of the big shebang or the backyard fireworks display, you can use a tiny American flag to add a fresh focal point to the foreground. Don’t have a flag handy? Hold up your beer and salute the rocket’s red glare. In fact, you can use any object in the foreground to add originality and context to the moment.
Have Fun With It
Fireworks photography isn’t just about all the pretty lights. It’s about family, friends, bbq, and all the star-spangled displays of patriotism that go along with our great American holiday. So let loose and get creative with your fireworks photos.
Happy 4th of July!