Optics Mag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

How to Photograph Fireworks: 10 Tips & Tricks

Last Updated on

camera with fireworks picture

It’s no secret that photographing fireworks requires a bit of practice, trial, and error. But with these 10 tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing those explosive moments in all their glory!

For your convenience, I’ve compiled these tips into a handy list. So, without further ado, here are 10 tips for photographing fireworks:

shutter camera divider 2

Top 10 Tips For Photographing Fireworks:

1. Use a Tripod

This is probably the most important tip on the list. A tripod will help stabilize your camera and prevent blurriness caused by shaking hands. If you don’t have a tripod, try propping your camera up on a solid surface like a table or a wall.

camera on tripod stand capturing outdoors

Image Credit: Dan Meyers, Unsplash


2. Use a Low ISO Setting

A higher ISO setting will make your photos grainy. So, for the best results, set your ISO to 100 or 200. This will ensure that your photos are nice and sharp.

Moreover, using a low ISO will also help prevent your photos from being overexposed.

ISO camera setting

Image Credit: ShareGrid, Unsplash


3. Use a Long Exposure

This is where a tripod comes in handy! By using a long exposure, you can capture the entire fireworks display in one photo. To do this, set your camera to bulb mode and hold down the shutter button for as long as the fireworks are going off.

When you’re done, review your photo to see if the exposure is too light or too dark. If it’s too light, try increasing your ISO. If it’s too dark, try decreasing your ISO.


4. Use a Remote Shutter Release

A remote shutter release is a handy little gadget that lets you take photos without touching your camera. This is especially helpful when using long exposures, as it prevents your camera from shaking and blurring the photo.

camera shutter remote

Image Credit: AjayTvm, Shutterstock


5. Use a Narrow Aperture

A narrow aperture will help you capture more of the fireworks in sharp focus. So set your aperture to f/8 or f/11 and experiment to see what works best.


6. Use a Fast Shutter Speed

A fast shutter speed will freeze the action and prevent your photos from being blurry. Set your shutter speed to 1/250 or 1/500 of a second.

fourth of July fireworks

Image Credit: pparnxoxo, Unsplash


7. Experiment with Camera Settings

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your camera settings. Try different combinations of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO until you find what works best. And don’t forget to have fun! The key here is to find the right combination of settings that works for you while netting the best results.

As such, you can expect to take a lot of photos that don’t quite turn out the way you want them to. But that’s okay! The more you practice, the better your photos will become.

photographer adjusts the camera

Image Credit: DUO Studio, Shutterstock


8. Take Test Shots

Before the fireworks display begins, take a few test shots to get a feel for the right settings. This will help you avoid fumbling with your camera in the dark when the show starts.

man taking photos at night

Image Credit: Mei-Ling Mirow, Unsplash


9. Use a Flashlight

If you need to adjust your camera settings in the middle of the fireworks display, use a flashlight to see what you’re doing. But be careful not to shine the light directly into your lens, as this will ruin your photo.


10. Have Fun!

Photographing fireworks can be a lot of fun, so make sure to enjoy yourself! And don’t forget to share your photos with us when you’re done. We’d love to see them!

shutter camera divider 2

Final Thoughts

With these 10 tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing those explosive moments in all their glory. So, get out there and start shooting.

And don’t forget to share your photos when you’re done. You can show others the fantastic results you got using these tips and tricks!


Featured Image Credit: Shutterfast, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

Robert Sparks Profile Picture