Shoot better photos this Forth of July

When you snap a picture today on the Forth of July of the spectacular fireworks, you either will be amazed or extremely frustrated. So let me prepare you so you will be rewarded with great photos and and an amazing experience.

First and foremost: Stability Stability Stability

Whenever shooting in a dark setting always stabilize your camera. This way things won’t be as blurry or out of focus (that is unless you specifically want an artistic view like that). A tripod is ideal but there are other options such as propping your arm on a solid object (the hood of your car) or leaning against a tree.

DON’T USE FLASH

If you have ever been to a concert and you were sitting in the back then proceeded in taking a picture with the flash you know what I mean. Instead:

Beef up your exposure

On the viewfinder the picture will probably be completely black or close to it because well, its during the night. But dont worry, set the ISO to 80 or so and make your exposure as long as you can, then point it in the general direction of the fireworks and fire away.

One more thing

A while ago I learned of this trick and the results have amazed me

What you need:

  1. Tripod
  2. Black hat or cloth to completely block out light
  3. Camera

How to do it:

  1. Set your exposure to the maximum 15 min + is ideal
  2. Set your Camera on a tripod
  3. Point it at the general direction of the fireworks
  4. Turn off auto-focus and manually focus to infinity
  5. Shoot
  6. Hold the black hat or whatever you are using in front of the camera’s lens to block out light
  7. Lift the hat whenever there are fireworks going up.

Good Resources

Wired: How to Photograph Fireworks

Lifehacker: Get better Fireworks photos this Forth of July

NYIP: How to Photograph Fireworks

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