5 Essential Tips in Photographing Fireworks

Shooting lights in the dark sky fascinates me always, photographing fireworks is no exception. But getting the right setting on the camera is a lifelong process. Here are 5 amazing essential tips that could improve your chance of easily photographing fireworks display like a pro.

1. Distance.

Know the exact location where the fireworks are setup. Doing so could actually give you the chance of taking pictures. You wouldn’t want to shoot overhead because you could not get the best angle right there, the best way is to go a certain distance where photographing it is exactly what you have your frame in mind.

Photographing Fireworks

2. Elevation.

Elevate yourself by setting your gear on a rooftop just right where you want it. You wouldn’t want yourself too high or too low. However, you have the options to be as low or as high depending on your perspective.

 3. A tripod.

You exactly need a stable tripod. Having your tripod set up is not enough. You have to make sure that it is stable and there’s no way it will move unwantedly. Sudden movement or camera shake alone could make it blurry and you don’t want that. Just like this one.

Blurred photo
This was shot without using a tripod. The camera shake ruined it.

Unsteady tripod could result to this messy photo.

4. The setting in photographing fireworks.

This is the most critical part. Some photographers prefer to shoot with f/9.0 so we could try shooting with this f-stop. You could still try to experiment because you might find a better f-stop for the job. Setting the ISO to 100 could avoid too much noise in the image and you really don’t need a higher ISO for this because we are shooting bright lights. The shutter speed is somewhat very crucial in this. You wouldn’t want to shoot in faster shutter speed because the explosion will be frozen in an instant. I believe a shutter speed of 4 sec is just right.

ISO 100, 4.0 sec at f/9.0, 28 mm (18-200mm), tripod

5. Lens.

It is not that critical to have a specific lens in shooting fireworks. I used my 18-200mm lens at around 50mm, 47mm, 28mm, and 18mm depending on my framing. Nevertheless, I think it would be better to use a 50mm prime in order for you not to be distracted by what focal length every time you shoot.

I recommend to shoot in raw and post process the images in lightroom not only in photographing fireworks but in every subject you shoot. The features in post-processing software could enhance the color, exposure, vibrance, saturation, etc. Cropping the image is also handy if you desire.

Photo processed in Photoshop Lightroom

Sometimes photography screws you but you still have to smile, because most of the time, the sky smiles back on you. So keep on photographing fireworks and any subject that gives you opportunity.