It’s that time of year where cameras are all pointed to the sky and people gather on large spaces of grass to see the firework show. While the 4th of July isn’t the only time that fireworks are released, it is one that happens across the US without fail every year. So what does it take to get your firework photography looking incredible and professional? Here we have listed 5 steps that will help your photography excel while taking firework shots.
1. The Right Tools
It is essential in every photo shoot that you have the right tools to make it amazing. Some require reflectors, lights, backgrounds, or second flashes. Here is a small list of what you’ll need while sitting in the dark, looking for great firework shots:
- Your Camera
- Fully charged battery
- Extra memory cards
- Remote Shutter Release
There is more to the right location than an space empty enough for you and your camera. If you want to find the perfect spot, it would be best to get there early, before the crowds and so that you’ll have the time to search for the spot you feel will be what you are wanting.
When looking for a great location there are a few factors you should consider. First, would be obstacles; trees, building, people, street lights, car lights, and bright signs are best avoided. Second, is your camera angle. You will find that you can take better pictures of fireworks that are in front of you instead of above you. Third, look to be unique in your location. You can use the area around you to highlight or showcase the grandeur of the fireworks you are photographing. These more unique locations are often less populated too, taking out the problems of people walking in front of you during the show.
Lastly, is to be aware of the wind. Fireworks are a smoky business. Be sure you aren’t down-wind of your fireworks or else you’ll find the smoke blocking your shots and hiding the fireworks.
For a camera with full manual settings:
- Flash: Off
- Noise Reduction: On
- ISO: 100
- Aperture: f/8 to f/16
- Focus: Slightly less than infinity or landscape setting
- Shutter Speed: Varies to your preference (anywhere from one second to 15 seconds)
For a camera with automatic settings:
Try your fireworks setting and see how it works
Also the landscape setting will work as long as you click the button while the firework is being launched to get the right settings before the fireworks has flashed and gone.
4. Make Basic Decisions Early
There are some decisions you want to make before the firework show actually begins. These include whether you are wanting to take horizontal or vertical shots, whether you want to use a self timer or shutter release remote, or how many close ups you want and how many from a distance. While these can all be changed while you are shooting your fireworks, it is best to go in with a plan.
Don’t be afraid to try different settings, different shutter speeds, or focal length. These are you pictures after all. Be open to the numerous possibilities your local firework show presents and enjoy it. Use your flashlight to quickly see and adjust settings so that you can get right back into shooting the moment your settings are switched. Take the time to discover how you personally prefer your firework photography and grow from there.