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How to Become a Master in Fireworks Photography

By Hanna Welch | November 15, 2018 |

greater than 3 minutes

Can you believe that the process of shooting fireworks can be pretty easy? With our tips, get ready to take great photos when you head out with your camera to capture firework displays. Save these helpful tips on how to photograph fireworks and next time you’ll shoot captivating fireworks photos.

1. How to choose the best place for taking photos

Easy steps for becoming a master in fireworks photography and learning the best way to send large files: choose the best place for taking photo

If you want your fireworks photos to look great, you need to start by choosing the right place for taking photos. Our advice is to find something with a city skyline or a natural feature in the landscape. This can help to get a sense of scale and also provide a useful framing option.

To get rid of light pollution in an urban or floodlit setting, set the white balance to tungsten in your camera settings and all warm colors in your shots will be only from the fireworks.

If it is hard for you to change settings in your camera, fix the white balance in your favorite photo editing software later.

More ideas of white balance setting importance

2. Useful kit to take along

Easy steps for becoming a master in fireworks photography and learning the best way to send large files: useful kit to take along

Probably the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about a useful kit is a tripod, but there’s also something else that you need to get prepared.

We are talking about a remote release this time. It helps to start each exposure without moving the camera, and to lock the shutter open for any time as needed.

Want to get a series of explosions? Our advice is to keep the shutter open throughout the series and also place a piece of black card or another thing in front of your lens between bursts, this will prevent the background from blowing out.

It can be a very hard task to locate buttons on your camera in the dark. So taking an LED head torch with you can be very helpful.

And finally, it could be almost impossible to avoid the crowds. Take a stool or stepladder with you: this will provide extra height if you need it.

3. How to choose the best time for taking fireworks shots

Easy steps for becoming a master in fireworks photography and learning the best way to send large files: how to choose the best time for taking fireworks shots

The best time for taking good fireworks shots is to keep an eye out for the rocket on its way up, and start your exposure somewhere near the top of its trajectory. This way you will get a photo with a clean starburst.

We also recommend not to include too many fireworks bursts in one shot, because it could look too cluttered.

4. How to work with camera settings

Easy steps for becoming a master in fireworks photography and learning the best way to send large files: how to work with camera settings

Don’t know how to choose the best camera settings for fireworks shooting? We can help with this! We know that shooting fireworks can be a bit of a lottery, but try to keep your settings consistent.

Save these instructions for getting the best fireworks shots:

  1. Select Manual mode
  2. Set the ISO to 200
  3. Set an aperture of around f/11
  4. Experiment with shutter speed. Anything between 1-4 secs should work

5. How to set focus and choose the lens

Easy steps for becoming a master in fireworks photography and learning the best way to send large files: how to set focus and choose the lens

Getting the fireworks in focus is one of the keys to successful photos. Before taking your shot, try to pre-focus on something that is the same distance away as where the fireworks will be. Then lock your lens in place by switching it to Manual focus.   

If you want to get all fireworks, use a wide-angle zoom lens set at the widest focal length. Later, you can crop it when you get to editing your shots.

6. How to edit and send large files fast

Easy steps for becoming a master in fireworks photography and learning the best way to send large files: how to edit photos

The morning after the fireworks shooting session you will probably start editing your photos. Do you have a favorite photo editing program? Is it Adobe Photoshop? If you are looking for a good program, сheck out 5 free Photoshop alternatives.

Let’s move on to the secrets of creating a dramatic and vibrant composition.

By enhancing the contrast, you will get the sky to appear blacker, and by increasing the saturation the display will be made to look more vivid.

A good idea is to combine several shots into one. This way you will create a look of the grand finale without any confusion. Just pick a few dramatic images and combine them as different layers so you can move each of them. You can also use the blending mode and place one shot over another. This way the shots will look as if they were taken simultaneously. Enlarge or reduce some shots in order to create additional interest.

Add a good photo of a full moon to the composition or a city skyline with some skyscrapers.

After getting your photos edited, you will most likely need to transfer a big file to your friends or a customer.

We recommend using FileWhopper for that. This service lets you easily share large files with no size limit.

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