Four Tips for Photographing Fireworks

July 2, 2015

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Here are four tips from a professional photographer on how to get better photos of fireworks this weekend . . .


1.  Turn your flash off.  If you don’t, everything over ten feet away will end up underexposed.  If you want to take a photo of someone with the fireworks behind them, set it up so their face is lit by a light behind you.




2.  Don’t just photograph the sky.  Photos of fireworks with nothing in the foreground tend to be boring, so try to get the skyline in there too.  Or try something like a shot of your kid from behind while they’re watching.



3.  Turn off the HDR feature.  It stands for “high dynamic range,” and it makes your camera take three quick photos at different exposures, then combines them into one image to make the lighting look more natural.



A lot of cell phone cameras have an HDR feature now, but it works best with still images where nothing’s moving.  If you use it with fireworks, they’ll just look blurry.



4.  Take photos with a long exposure.  That’s where the shutter stays open a few seconds longer and lets more light in.  But not all camera phones let you do it, and you pretty much have to use a tripod to make it work.