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Capturing FIREWORKS with your Camera!

Posted by on June 26, 2012

Can you believe it’s going to be the 4th of July next week already?? And with that, the first thought that comes to my mind are fireworks!

How many of you have already begun hearing them go off around your neighborhoods?

Well, how many of you have tried capturing fireworks with your camera, but the shots didn’t come out, or they were blurry?  Well, I’m going to give you a few tips on how to turn this 4th of July around and leave yourself with some lasting memories.

1) Use a Tripod

The tripod will balance out the movement of your camera making for a clearer shot especially since fireworks take place during the night.

2) Have a cable release or self timer

This way it gives your camera absolutely zero movement when it takes it shot of the fireworks going off! If you don’t have the cable release, set your camera up so there is an automatic timer to go off with your shot, that way you give yourself enough time to hit the camera button and move away so the camera has zero motion when that shutter goes off.

3) Position Yourself Wisely and Arrive Early

Stake out your spot wisely.  Be cautious of people who could be in your way or objects such as trees, power lines that could ruin the shot.

4) Were you aware of FIREWORKS mode?

Some cameras today have a fireworks mode built into their camera.  This is really nice for beginner photographers, has all the settings you need right there!

5) Know the ISO to use!

If you’re using a tripod because fireworks are so bright you’re okay with keeping your camera at ISO 100 as long as you use a F-stop of F8-F16.  If you up your ISO to 200, make sure to also up your F-stop.  However, if you forgot the tripod at home, make sure to also up your iso.

6) Be aware of the weather

Mist, or clouds will affect your exposure in your pictures, you will have to make adequate adjustments to fit accordingly.

7) Put other objects to use! 

Have you ever noticed the firework pictures that have other objects along with them?  They make for some great photos.  So, get out there, and get creative.  Scour out the area you’re at, and think of how you can place an object into your photograph.

8) Give yourself a longer exposure

This is a huge reason why there is a need for a tripod so you can set your camera up for a longer exposure.  Anywhere between 1-4 second delay is recommended!

Other great articles found on capturing fireworks can be found below:–share-capture-amazing-fireworks

Get out there and have fun! I’m hoping for far better results this year than past years, and I look forward to sharing them all with you =)

Happy Shooting!






30 Responses to Capturing FIREWORKS with your Camera!

  1. Romina

    Awesome post, and very timely. I always look forward to your photography posts. BTW, love the new header and background.

    • Jamie

      Thanks Romina!!! I thought it’d be a very good fit to talk about fireworks with the festivities of next week =)

  2. Modern Gypsy

    Great post. Thanks for the tips! Oh, and I love your blog header – very nice!

  3. Lisa Frederiksen -

    I’m originally from Minnesota, too! Thanks for these great tips! I have the amazing fortune to be in D.C. this 4th of July and will be watching the fireworks on The Mall so this will be very helpful — thank you!

  4. Chris

    This is great! I am just learning how to take photos with my new old DSLR. I am still getting the hang of f-stops and ISO and the P setting. I’m not a big fireworks person but at least I can practice taking photos of them! TY!

  5. Mandy Edwards

    Great tips! My firework pictures are hit and miss!

  6. Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

    Great post. I am a “sort of” beginner. I started taking pics a few years ago, but only recently have had the time ( and energy) to get serious about it. Judging by your “header” you are a very accomplished photographer. Thanks for the sites and the info. In Canada the fire works will be on July 1st, so hopefully I can get a shot or two of the excitement!!

  7. Sharon G Cobb

    Great tips for capturing fireworks…something I’ve never been too good at doing.


  8. elizabeth

    Wow I had no idea how to make this work. These are great camera tips! I would love to get for pretty pictures from the 4th to remember. Thanks!

  9. Barbara Peters

    Well goodness I never knew how those pictures were taken.I really enjoy fireworks and would like to take some shots. Thanks For Sharing the tips!

  10. Alexis Grace

    Great tips! Not sure what I am doing for the 4th, but I am sure I will take some photos!

  11. Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey

    Jamie, this couldn’t come in better time. I am still learning ins & outs of my new camera and our Canada Day fireworks are this Sunday….

    • Jamie

      I never knew Canada Day and the 4th of July were so close =) You must teach me about some of the Canada holidays, I’d love to learn!

  12. Olga Hermans

    I used to have a boyfriend who was a photographer in my early twenties; he is quite well known in Europe. I learned lots from him, but forgot most of it…:) You gave some great tips and they are very timely as well just before July 4th. Thanks!

  13. Shelley

    Thank you for the excellent tips!

  14. Alex @ Before The Baby Wakes

    Ok I’m just going to come out & say it. Why do we take pictures of fireworks? I’m guilty of it I admit. But last year after I took a few I stopped because I realized I have never once asked to see a photo from fireworks like “Oh hey guys let’s look at fireworks for 2007” :-)

    • Jamie

      LOL, you’ve definitely made a point. For me, it’s because I’m looking for that perfect shot that one day I’ll be able to frame 😉

  15. Carolyn Hughes

    Have never attempted to take photos of fireworks but these tips are very handy to have for the next time I’m at a display! Thanks Jamie!

  16. Anita

    Its Canada Day weekend coming up…I will have to try this :)

  17. Martha Giffen

    Fantastic list! I’ve never shot fireworks but just might give it a try!

  18. Sherry Nouraini

    Great, just in time for 4th of July!

  19. Karla Campos

    Great tips, I still don’t know what ISO does so will be looking it up. Thank you for all the tips, hope my photography skills get better following all of your advice : )

  20. Sally K Witt

    I am such a baby when it comes to photography, I don’t even understand most of your suggestions! LOL I am lucky if I can zoom once in a while. Great post.

  21. Lisa Birnesser

    I just love your tips, Jamie. I had no idea there was such a thing as fireworks mode! Looking forward to your pics next week.

  22. Helena Ritchie

    Great tips! I gave up trying to take night photos of anything until I can get a tripod.

  23. Gretchen Pritts

    Oh this is great! I really needed help with my fireworks photos and am anxious to try out your pointers. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Susan Critelli

    WOW! These are great tips. But what do you do when you are taking photos with a cell phone? I haven’t bothered with a “real” camera in a long time.

    • Jamie

      Well, the truth be told, cell phones would be really hard with capturing fireworks… actually any cell phone photography at night is pretty hard just because of lighting purposes.

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