Location, Location, Location! This has never been more true than when taking digital photographs featuring fireworks. As in any other focus of digital photography, when shooting fireworks, composition is key. Before the display begins, find the angle that will offer you an unobstructed view of the upcoming fireworks. Having people in front of your camera cannot work under any circumstance and avoid it at all costs.
Streetlights will fade out and shadow the fire works without a doubt, therefore avoid streetlamps as best as possible. The vantage point from a boat can create beautiful results using the reflection from calm waters. Basically determining the best possible angle while keeping in mind the desire for less light, few people and accessibility, you too can achieve an ‘illuminating’ firework photo.
There are a few basic tips when trying to photograph fireworks. I have found that using digital cameras to take this type of pictures is much easier simply due to the fact that after the first one, you can check to make sure the camera settings are correct before taking that next picture.
One of the most important tips that I can share with you is to secure your camera. Using a tripod is the best option for ensuring the camera does not shake and blur your photos. You will need longer shutter speeds so this is a very important task. Because you will be using a tripod, the need for planning is a necessity. The camera will need to be aimed where you think the fireworks will be set off. I tend to take wide-angle shots of fireworks simply due to the fact that with digital photography, I can crop as much as I’d like to get the same effect using the computer.
Once the camera is setup and aimed properly, you need to get the camera options setup. The aperture should be set somewhere between f/8 to f/16. You will need to set the shutter speed for a nice long exposure. You will need to experiment with several before learning what is too short or too long. Also, set your ISO to 100. This should allow for nice clean shots. Please don’t forget to turn off your flash. This can override some of your other settings to ruin that perfect shot.
Keep Snapping – Take as many pictures as you can. You can quickly go through and delete the ones you don’t want to keep and store the ones you do onto your computer.
Know the features – Different phones come with an array of different options. Learn what your phone is capable of doing and take advantage of it.
Be Courteous – Ask permission before you take someone’s picture. Be mindful of others right to privacy. Also ask permission before sharing photos of friends and loved ones.
Use High Resolution – Check your phone’s settings. Setting the resolution to its highest will lead to better quality pictures.
Be Creative – Try different angles. Turn your camera, step up on something, kneel down, anything to make the shot creative and unique.