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How to Photograph Fireworks in a Few Easy Steps


It’s that time of year again, bonfires, fireworks and hot chocolate. Simply the perfect antidote to brighten up those dark nights. However, should you wish to capture the fun you’ll need to know how to photograph fireworks! Importantly, it’s really quite simple once you follow these steps.

Photograph Fireworks with the Help of a Tripod

When it comes to photographing fireworks a tripod is your friend. Ultimately photographing fireworks involves using long shutter speeds. Therefore you’re going to need something to keep that camera steady. Alternatively, should you not have one to hand, perhaps you could balance your camera on a wall if one is available. 

Think Ahead, Plan Your Shot

Now it’s important to get to grip with where the fireworks are going to be in the sky. You are going to have to get ahead of yourself to be able to frame your shot. (Be aware of the horizon, make sure it’s straight.) You will want to consider anything that you wish to be in the shot. This might include heads that are silhouetted against the sky. Similarly you might want to include a city skyline. In addition, this is a good time to think about focal length. If you are shooting at a wide angle you are more likely to capture more in your frame!

Always Photograph Fireworks in Manual Mode

Firstly, you don’t need your flash for firework photography. Importantly though, you will need to adjust settings according to your surroundings. however, a good starting point is ISO 100 F/8-11 SS 2-5 seconds. However, it’s a good idea to take shot then check your settings. You will be able to tweak accordingly. 

Interestingly, some photographers use “bulb” mode. This setting helps as the shutter is released as you press the shutter button and stops recording as you stop pressing. 

Manual Focus for fireworks

Obviously your camera can’t focus in the dark nor can it focus on something that isn’t there yet! So, set your camera to focus manually. My advice would be to set your focus to infinity. Coupled with your high depth of field, the fireworks are far away enough for this to work well enough.

Have fun with Your Firework Photography

Once you are a little more at ease you can play around more. Definitely play around with focal lengths. A wide lens will give you a great shot of the scene. But, shooter on a longer lens will enable you to create some more detailed shots. Think about what’s around you. For example a lake creates perfect reflections. In addition surrounding trees or people can frame your shot beautifully. 

One More Tip For Firework Photographs

Remember to check the wind direction. Fireworks create a lot of smoke which can add to a shot. Similarly it can mess with your shot too. A lot of smoke can make hazy photos. This may be the look you want, but just bear it in mind if you don’t! If you’d like less smoke, shoot with the wind behind you.

Have fun and stay safe!


How to Photograph FireworksHow to Photograph FireworksLearn How to Photograph Fireworks in a few easy steps silhouette of a boy on bonfire night


Hertfordshire Family Photographer

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