Watching fireworks is an incredible experience, and it’s only fitting that you want to keep a souvenir photo to remember it by.
Taking photos of fireworks isn’t as easy as pointing your camera or phone on the black sky. If you want a picture that captures how awesome the fireworks display was, you’ll need to prepare.
It boils down to finding a good location, using the right gear, and tweaking your camera to the right settings.
How to Photograph Fireworks
- Find a great spot. You want to find a place that is high and a fair distance from the display. You don’t want to be too close and right below it. To take great photos of fireworks, you want to be able to capture its scale.
- Use the right equipment. According to Nikon USA, a wide-angle lens is ideal for taking photos of fireworks at a good range. If you’re further from the action, a telephoto lens will give better results.
- Use a tripod. You’ll be photographing fast moving light displays at night. In order to do that, you will be using longer shutter speeds. If your camera is not 100% steady, you might come out with blurry photos. If you want to make sure your camera doesn’t move, you can even invest in a remote so you don’t have to touch it.
- Include foreground objects. Don’t try to cut buildings, trees, and other elements off your photograph. It’s more interesting to see these displays against a city skyline for example, or right above water. It makes the composition of your photo a lot more interesting.
- Go with a wider focal length. It’s tempting to get close ups of colorful segments of a huge fireworks display, but you’ll need to know where to point your camera as well as the exact moment. It’s better to take high definition wide shots and crop interesting segments later.
- Start immediately. Don’t wait for the final displays before you start shooting. In case there’s not a lot of wind, you’ll find that your photos will be riddled with smoke by the end of the night. For crisp shots of fireworks, the first few ones generally turn out the sharpest.
- Shoot in the highest quality file possible. Set the camera’s quality to NEF / RAW setting before you shoot.
When you practice and experiment how best to take photos of fireworks, you’ll see that you will get better images than bright blobs against a black sky. By following a few of the tips above, you’ll be able to capture the textures, designs, and even scale of fireworks.