Nighttime Photography: Fireworks

Lighting is incredibly importance with photography, but there are times when you need to shoot at night. A prime example is the Fourth of July—shooting fireworks can be a difficult task, but it is possible to get the perfect shot.

Night photography is challenging in general, and fireworks more so. If you are shooting at night, remember to switch the camera off automatic and to manual mode. In manual mode, choose a narrow aperture and slow shutter speed.

Shooting fireworks may seem intimidating, like a task more difficult than it really is. In reality, it can be surprisingly easy to do. And with digital cameras, the photographer can immediately gauge the success of an image and adjust if necessary for the next shot.

One important tip is to use a tripod. Some people don’t bother with tripods, but when using a longer shutter speed, which is necessary for shooting fireworks, you’ll need to anchor the camera to something. Without the tripod, the long shutter speed will not only capture the firework, but any tiny movements your hands make. And since even pressing the shutter button can create too much movement, use the camera’s timer to get the shot.

There is a unique challenge to shooting fireworks: you have to anticipate the fireworks and aim your camera in advance. So you’ll need to have your camera already trained on the right part of the sky before the firework. In this case, using the timer may not be the best option, so a remote release will give more accurate timing for the shot.

Photography at night takes a little bit of extra work compared with daytime shots, but the results are well worth the effort.

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