How to Photograph Fireworks ?

There is just so much to do with the DSLR camera. It lets us take photos of whatever we want. In fact, we can also take photographs of fireworks. And as the summer season approaches, there will be more of these in the skies! But then if you’re new to photography and capturing those gigantic lights and bursts, you may be interested in learning how to photograph fireworks.

But you may be asking though, “How easy is it to capture fireworks? Or is it?” Yes! Anyone can do it. That’s why you have to stay tune and keep reading the tutorial until the very end for a complete guidance.

How to Shoot Fireworks ?

The first thing to remember when shooting fireworks is to find a scheduled one. This is the perfect time to fill your needs of taking these lovely, memorable fireworks that happen on the New Year’s Eve, July 4 and other key occasions and events. So now, let us proceed, and gear up to take fireworks pictures.

Things you’ll need

• A tripod
• A DSLR camera


1. Get a tripod and use it. It will ensure the camera won’t be moving while taking the photos. It’s one of the most important tips from the pros if you want to take photos of fireworks because you’d use longer shutter speeds. These will not only capture the fireworks movement but any of the camera’s movement too.

2. For the remote release, you must ensure your camera is still during the shots. To make sure of it, you must use a remote release device, which varies from one camera model to another, but many have such feature on them. Alternatively, you can take the photo without touching the DSLR by using the timer, which can also be good. However, you must anticipate your fireworks shot well. Using this method is a hit and miss approach.

3. For framing the shot, you must consider it a challenge because you need to aim the digital camera even before the fireworks display. Thus, a little anticipation here and there also can go a long way.

Tips to Frame the Shot Excellently

 You must scope out your location prior to the shots. It is important to achieve an unobstructed view later. What is in the foreground and background? Would there be heads bobbing up?

 Decide on the lenses to use. Planning is the key. You must know what focal lengths are appropriate to use than thinking about it when the show is happening.

 Before taking fireworks shots, you must check on your camera and see if it is straight in the framing. It is essential if you’re shooting using the wide focal length or if you’re planning to capture other background elements, such as the buildings or perhaps the river or bay. Finally, make sure that the camera is level right on your tripod as you set it up.

4. Choose between horizontal or vertical, which are the two ways of framing the shots. For many experts, they recommend the vertical framing or perspective to shoot fireworks with DSLR because there are many movements to capture in the fireworks. Always remember your framing and the segment of the sky to help you anticipate the timing because you will see light trails shooting as the fireworks display.

5. Now, let’s talk about the focal length. It is hard to train your camera on the right part plus shoot at the perfect timing. This proves true if you’re planning to capture tightly cropped photos or with longer focal lengths.

You can also shoot using a wider focal length, even though you can try a few tighter shots in some portions of the show. Tip: Bear in mind that cropping of the wide-angle shots of the fireworks can be skipped and done later.

6. Look into the shutter speed. You must shoot in bulb mode, which lets you keep the shutter open while you’re holding it down with some sort of a remote shutter release. You may also want to experiment with some speeds to check on the impact they give.

Avoid keeping the shutter open for a long time. Fireworks are bright, and it won’t need much for exposure, especially if the shutter is open for multiple bursts. You must experiment with some multiple burst shots, although one-burst shots may also do well.

7. Decide on the aperture to use. You don’t need a fast lens here, but it’s the opposite. The fireworks light brightness is so bright. Mid to small ranges can work, and they would capture between f/8 to f/16.

8. Switch off the flash, which won’t affect the shots. (The flash only reaches a few meters.)

9. Capture the shots in manual mode. Manual focus modes and manual exposure are best for capturing fireworks. Auto focusing in low lighting conditions can be hard, and you might end up missing some shots. Once the focus is set, you don’t have to change it while the show is taking place. [Remember: Changing the focal lengths means also adjusting your focus on many types of lenses.]

10. Track the results periodically. You must do a quick check after a couple of shots to see if things are going well and may want to try doing some experiments, which include taking shots of the people around you, a wider perspective and a few silhouettes. Taking some experiment shots can prove helpful for more spectacular, a little bit more than cliché shots!

That’s about the guide on how to photograph fireworks. The steps include planning and scoping out the place where the fireworks display would take place. You also have to consider things including focal length, aperture, and shutter speed and so on.

Pro Tips

1. Survey the place where the fireworks display would happen.
2. Get your gears ready, and these include the tripod.
3. Check for foreground objects. You may also want to look for reference points, such as hillsides, buildings and monuments, especially if you’re planning to capture them along with the display.
4. Make sure that you’re ready to capture the photos of the first fireworks. Remember that the first explosions are usually the sharpest.
5. Know the wind’s direction or the photos will come out hazy.


Capturing those magical, bright displays in the sky excellently, you’ll be proud later! Perhaps, you might be even interested in using some images to make a photo collage in Photoshop. What do you think?

Hoping you picked up everything that you need to know on how to photograph fireworks from this tutorial. Finally, spread the knowledge and share this post with friends on Facebook today!

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