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How to take great fireworks pics

Updated on March 14, 2015
fireworks display
fireworks display

Great Fireworks Pictures

Almost everyone loves fireworks. You can get some great fireworks pictures if you know the secrets. Just getting the shots can be fun, but to get the best shots you need to plan ahead. I want to share with you how to get great fireworks pictures. If you get good fireworks pictures, you will enjoy them for years to come.

Plan ahead

First you need to get to the show early to pick out the best spot. You want to have a good view of where the fireworks will be going off, and also be able to get some other interesting items in the shot to enhance it. Things like water, other landmarks on the ground, interesting buildings, city scape, etc. These things will make your fireworks pictures better.

You will need an SLR camera, or one that has manual settings, and a bulb mode if possible.

Setting up for the fireworks

When you find the spot, set up your tripod. Set your camera on manual and set the aperture to f11 and the ISO to 100. Set the shutter speed to the bulb setting if you have it on your camera. If you don't have the bulb setting, set the shutter speed to somewhere between 20 sec. And 1 min. If they shoot groups with a lot of fireworks, set it shorter, if they shoot them one at a time, set it longer. Focus your camera on the other objects that you want in the shot and make sure your camera is set on manual focus so it won't focus away from what you want automatically.

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beautiful fireworks
beautiful fireworks

Keep it steady as possible

If you have a remote release, use it. If you don't have one you can use the timer but it is much more difficult to get good shots. Set the zoom of the lens to cover the area where the fireworks will be and the other things you want in the shot. Then you just wait for the show to start.

How to shoot once the show starts

When the show starts, and you hear them launch the shell, hit the remote and open the shutter. Be creative and hold the shutter open for a few shots or when you think that it is the right time to end it. Look at the screen for the first few just to make sure everything is working right. As you are taking shots, you have to decide when is the right time to end each shot. Let some go longer and some shorter to experiment with the shots.


A few more tips

You can also get people in your fireworks shots. To get friends in the shot with fireworks in the background. Set up when you think they are ready for several fireworks at same time. Set camera to night portrait mode. The camera will open the shutter and catch the back ground fireworks, then it will fire the flash to get the people. Tell them to stay looking at the camera and stay still. Then take it at the right time.

If your camera has a fireworks mode use it. If not, use the landscape mode. Another way to get some great fireworks pictures is to set to continuous shooting mode and when they fire the fireworks, take a series of continuous shots. You can get some great shots this way.

With an SLR, use the mirror lock up if your camera has one, just to avoid any vibration that would cause shake.

If you follow these tip, you too will be able to take better fireworks pictures.

A video on how to shoot fireworks

For more great photography tips

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