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Tips for Photographing Fireworks

Fireworks over a white mansion

As the Independence Day Holiday approaches, here are some tips for capturing some winning shots of the fireworks in your area.

Follow these easy steps!

1) Use a tripod and a remote release to minimize camera shake.

2) Use manual focus and manual shooting mode, so that the camera doesn’t try to re-focus while you are in the process of photographing the fireworks.

3) Set the aperture to F8 or F11 – either f-stop will produce a good depth of field without needing a really long exposure.

4) Set ISO to 400 or 800, no pop flash (all a flash will do is illuminate the area in front of the camera, not the fireworks!).

5) Compose the picture – try to have a landmark in the lower part of the photo to provide context. Take a few photos before the fireworks start to make sure that the landmark is properly exposed and you still have a long enough exposure to capture the light trails from multiple firework bursts. Keep in mind that the fireworks will fill up 3/4 of your photo, so compose the picture accordingly.

6) Adjust the shutter speed as necessary, anywhere from 1/4 second – 4 seconds – experiment!

Happy shooting and Happy Independence Day!

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