Fireworks are gone in a flash (sorry, we love a good camera pun) but these short explosions of light and colour give endless joy and wonder to those who see them. Fireworks can prove difficult to capture in their full glory, as they are so momentary, so we’ve assembled some tips to help you take flawless photos.
Always use a tripod
To achieve perfectly crisp images of your favourite fireworks you are going to need a tripod. Photographing fireworks can require long exposure times, which makes it essential that there is no movement whatsoever.
Embrace maximum exposure time
Once you have your tripod set up you need to set your exposure to the maximum length. A good rule to follow is to open the shutter as soon as you hear the rocket or see it and then leave it open until the burst has disappeared; this is usually around 6-10 seconds depending on the type of firework.
Know your camera and save yourself some hassle
Some cameras have a ‘fireworks mode’ – switch this on and it will save you all the trouble of trying out different settings and experimenting to get the right shot. It is a real time saver and you will be ready to shoot straight away. Some people still prefer to take shots without this setting though, preferring to rely on their own instincts. So experiment with a few and see which you prefer as the more you shoot, the more you learn.
Because the burn time of a sparkler can be 30 seconds or longer, this gives you the opportunity to capture the light trails that are created. Mount your camera on a tripod to keep it steady during the long exposure needed for this type of picture and make sure you turn off your auto focus to achieve the best settings for your images.
Oohs and ahhs
Use a flash, turn around and capture the audience alongside the fireworks. All the oohs and ahhs, mouths ajar with joy and everyone looking up to the stars can make a really mesmerising image and is a great way to capture a spontaneous portrait of your friends and family. Manfrotto KLYP for your camera phone is a great accessory to help you capture these moments, as you can both light up your subject and steady the shot with this essential piece of kit. Warning: do not use flash for taking photos of solely fireworks.