A Few Tips for Photographing Fireworks

Happy 4th of July! I'm not at home and don't have my external hard drive with me or I'd add a fireworks photo to this post. Check back tomorrow for photos (hopefully).

It's my sister's favorite holiday and since she's lamenting the fact that she will not be able to see any fireworks tonight I'll be seeing a fireworks show on a lake with camera in hand to hopefully ease her pain.

So I thought I'd offer some tips about shooting fireworks. Mainly I'm offering these to remind myself. Not because I'm a pro at capturing fireworks photos.

First, a tripod is pretty much necessary. I've gotten a sparing few without a tripod (one even from a boat without a tripod), but I'm pretty sure I'll be much more successful with a tripod. I can assure you that those sparing few were nothing more than luck.

Second, you'll need to use a slower shutter speed or even the bulb exposure (where you control how long it stays open) if your camera has one. And that slower shutter speed neccesitates the first tip.

Third, just as with any other type of photography, think about your perspective. Do you want to also get scenes from the ground in your photos as well? The few years I have taken fireworks photos I've only shot scenes of the fireworks up in the sky. Tonight I'm hoping to get some with the lake and people sillouhettes in with the fireworks.

Fourth, turn off your flash.  You just don't need it and it will mess up your shots anyway.

Fifth, take lots of photos. If you're like me and don't have a ton of experience getting firework photos take lots of shots and try different things. You'll see what works and what doesn't and be better prepared for your next try.

I'll be back later this weekend. Have a great holiday!