Tips for How to Photograph Fireworks

by | Oct 1, 2021 | Event Photography

In case you’re looking for Learning how to photograph fireworks so that you can make Fourth of July (for that matter any other fireworks-worthy celebration) memorable. Here are a few tips that can help in the same.

If you’re willing to know and understand how to photograph fireworks? You’re on the most apt space.We all know how awe-inspiring, colourful bursts of light feel in the night sky. These fireworks also help in creating a perfect environment for clicking pictures. But it can be a challenge for even well experienced photographers to capture. Here we have gathered a few fireworks photography tips that will definitely come to your rescue.

Professional photographers are on the top of their game when it comes to handling sensitive and high-contrast shots. The moments when the fireworks light up the night sky look amazing and are ideally kept out of the hands of novice photographers.

5 Ways to shine on the Fourth of July

1. Find vantage points.

Photographers love to set up their cameras to capture the perfect shot on a clear day – like the one surrounding the Fourth of July. Taking a photo from high in the air, above the city lights, or at the bottom of the sea is a great way to stand out from the crowd. But it’s best to pick your ideal spot and take your shot there. Finding the perfect spot takes determination. Think about how you can photograph your target from a different angle and the way on which you would like to frame your shot.

You might want to consider shooting from a moving vehicle, which makes for a more dramatic image.

2. Light up the perfect spot.

Have you ever looked at an image in a magazine or looking at an online picture and been blown away? That’s what a photo with at least 50% natural light is going to do for you. Even if you’re not as passionate about the test tree or a lake on your beach, a lighter photo with greenery surrounding it will make for a captivating memory.

Any pictures that could boost your girlfriend’s self-confidence if she’s in the background? If you’re really interested in serenading yourself on the Fourth of July, make it a romantic photo. Forgive the geese, the sand and the sun shining. It’s the midsummer holiday, after all.

3. Ask for a favour.

OK – this might seem a bit peculiar. But your country might allow you freedom of operation. For instance, you might be allowed to take a high-resolution picture of your target while atop a high structure….Or perhaps you could use a remote control to fire your camera up. Whatever the case, you’ll be able to enjoy the view.

4. Get your tripod ready.

A DSLR camera is the tool of professionals. For some the ideal photo opportunity can be just a couple of feet away from you. For others getting there can be an arduous and time-consuming affair. It’s wise to set up your camera so that you can take your shot anytime, anywhere. Buy a good lightbox for your camera and promote it liberally to others. But some models also allow you to take pictures at different elevations and in dark environments.


These are non-destructive, shrink-to-within-a-billion-keys shots. If you want them to move, they have to move. You need a wide, high sharp-angle lens, first hand and first time.

One shot will not work for everybody. In fact, you may even end up with moments you may not like. But sticking to just one will also ensure you get similar type of wide shot with lots of bang for the buck.


A wide-angle lens has it’s limitations but you’re limited to where it points — the centre of your frame is usually the crispest. Many times we have to resort to using zoom or panning to get close ups and well, blow up the fireworks. Zooming out doesn’t always make our images look better — though it often does.

There’s no excuse to throw your camera out the window and start counting how many shopping malls and skyscrapers have been blown up as they approach your vantage point, but working from in close certainly takes the sting out of it.

Image via: Pexels


Turn on your flash when the temperature gets nice, wave your camera around, and create maximum excitement. This is the critical element that lets light through and gives you the perfect opportunity to capture the stunning fireworks.


Commit to holding onto the rocket for longer than you would ever think necessary. Most of the core components of photography (batteries included) last for several days with proper care and usage. And a phone is your best friend.


Nobody wants to click a burned tree. Nobody, at least I didn’t want to. So set up clicks in front of similar trees in order to reduce the stigma. So can you guess how many clicks you need?


The good news is the shorter your exposure time (ideally from 20 to 60 seconds), the better. Time your click so that it appears well-placed with good lighting coming from the vantage, being subtly blowing in from behind the tree, etc. This can make your picture easier to compose with good contrast.


Even though cameras aren’t born with a ‘must-have’ feature, flashlights do play an important role in capturing those stunning fireworks. To ensure you get the most out of your picture, use warmth, not just strong light. Use the diffuser and shoot straight across the frame. Smaller trees tend to be most effective. Alternatively, when shooting at the beach using longer-distance, bring an umbrella.

Blurry images of fireworks are your friend

Without a doubt, your camera’s autofocus system works best when you yourself give the focus. A blurred background is a good start. If you don’t mind fiddling around with your settings, you can even take perfectly good pictures of fireworks in hardly any better condition. But if you’re up for the challenge, try the four tips below.

1) Empty your pockets

Are you wearing light gloves? Did you grab your camera out at a pivotal moment? If you ever plan to be somewhere where you’ll have a clear line of sight, bring it along. You’ll be glad you did.

If you do not have a camera with you, no problem. Borrow one at a petrol station. Stock up on inexpensive flashlights. Get an unobtrusive background. Bring lots of water. It’s a lot easier to shoot fireworks in the dark without a camera.

2) Leave room for fireworks

You won’t get the same depth of focus or different angles with an overly crowded shot. This can mean a lot of misshapen images.

Put yourself in your subject’s shoes: What if someone walked straight into the middle of your shot? Are you sure that the flash, rather than the sun, meant the brightest spot in your photo? Honesty will set you free.

Don’t shoot from high-up or from too far away. If you have to look at the fireworks from far away, be wary of how eclipsed the sun is and how much light the setting sun sheds on your surroundings.

Use the finder scope to check things out. If you can make out most of the fireworks, that’s great. But you’ll have the most success if the whole scene is visible.

3) Light and shadows

Doesn’t it make your whole body feel warmer if the sun is shining directly on you? Or, for that matter, if you’re looking at city lights in the distance? Or, even better, if you can make out some shapes against the sky? Shorter exposure times translate into a bigger image.

Use a tripod. (We usually recommend a Leicas or Box Camera Elmarit-SL 1:1, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use a wide-angle prime lens, such as a 50 mm lens.) Standing far away from the fireworks can minimize the blurring effects. If you rely on just the flash of your flash, you can get away with not using a tripod. A wide angle lens will showcase more shapes and patterns, thus make for larger images.

Use your zoom lens if you haven’t already.

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