How to Photograph Fireworks This 4th of July

A Patch photographer gives advice on capturing the sparkle in the sky.

Capturing fireworks on camera is a challenge that can be mastered easily with the right equipment and settings on your camera.  Here is a short tutorial to help you capture the rockets' red glare this Fourth of July.  

Equipment needed:

  • Camera: Either point-and-shoot or an SLR.
  • Tripod: To keep the camera steady and prevent motion blur.
  • Flashlight:  To see the camera settings in the dark.
  • Wireless Trigger: Not necessary but it helps to prevent camera shake. 

Lexington's fireworks will be Thursday, July 5 at the annual Lions Club's Carnival, and there are several other fireworks displays around Boston over the next few days. Have a fireworks photo to share? Upload it to Patch!

Euonymus Veeblefetzer July 01, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Good tips if you have a camera with a "fireworks" mode built in. Otherwise: 1. Make sure flash is turned off, put the camera on a tripod, and aim where fireworks will be. 2. Set to "M" (Manual) mode. 3. Set aperture to f8 or f 5.6. 4. Set ISO to 100 5. Make sure focus is set to manual, and set focus to infinity (∞). 6. Use a wireless trigger, cable release, or use the camera's self-timer to reduce camera shake. 7. After one or two test shots, if the image seems too dark, open up the aperture one or two stops. It it's too bright, close the aperture one or two stops. 8. If you're using a zoom lens, after a couple of shots, adjust the zoom to suit yourself.
Euonymus Veeblefetzer July 01, 2012 at 12:00 PM
I forgot to mention: 3.5 Set shutter speed around 5 to 8 seconds.
Patrick Ball (Editor) July 02, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Thanks for adding these tips! If anyone else out there has other suggestions, please feel free to add them here. I'm sure I'm not the only one who could use a little advice on this one.


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