How to Photograph Fireworks {Tips Roundup}

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Happy 4th! All those living here in the fabulous USA will undoubtedly by seeing some sort of fireworks today and possibly even throughout the week. And, if you’re into photography like I am, then you want to be able to capture some of those awesome fireworks. Since getting my DSLR camera about 18 months ago (and then learning to use it & shoot in full manual mode), I’ve been able to have a few opportunities for fireworks photography practice. Disneyland fireworks are always amazing and I’ve loved trying to capture a few good shots from them. Here are a couple of favorites:

Then, last 4th of July, we were at a family reunion. There was no big fireworks show to shoot, but instead small fireworks in the driveway. It was my first chance to attempt playing with photographing sparklers. Once I got my settings right, the kids kept experimenting with different motions and things to see what kinds of shots we would get.

Pretty cool, huh?! They’re by no means “pro”, but are WAY better than any fireworks shots I was getting a few years ago. With all my practicing & reading, I’ve learned a few things. First up, to get shots like this (and better) you need to shoot in manual. And, you definitely want to turn off the flash. While it may seem counter-intuitive for night shots, you actually want a really low ISO setting (all of these were shot at either 100 or 200) and a long shutter speed. You’ll definitely just need to play around with your settings a bit until you find something that’s working well. For best results (and I’ve never done this, which is perhaps why my shots aren’t as good as they could be), you need to use a tripod.

So, those are a few of the basics I’ve learned, but there are some GREAT posts out there (from the “pros”) with lots of details and some fabulous fireworks photos. Here’s a roundup of a few favorites:

*UPDATE*: We ended up going to a fireworks show last night. We had a bad angle (with a power pole in the way) and I completely forgot to bring the tripod. UGH! I so wanted to practice with it. So, these are the best I got without the tripod! Still WAY better than ever before. Now, I’m hopeful that next time, with a tripod, I’ll really be able to snag some awesome shots! 🙂

Have YOU had any luck photographing fireworks?

Linked to: *Tatertots & Jello

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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6 Responses

  1. Thanks for the tips. This is something I have always wanted to try. Maybe next year. THe same would work for lighting I would think. Did you take any this year?
    Stay cool, hugs…

    1. I think the same techniques would work for lightning–just might be a bit harder to capture! 🙂 I did get a few decent shots last night–just updated this post with them! 🙂 Enjoy!

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