Do you want to know how to take pictures of fireworks? With 4 July just around the corner I have put together some tips and tricks that will help you get that perfect shot this holiday weekend.

Fireworks can be lots of fun to photograph, but you have to know what you are doing and you have to be ready for the action.

DSC 1804

1. Scout your location. Get to the place you are shooting early and make sure you walk around and look at all the angles. It’s always best to do this when there is no body around even a day before.

2. Use a tripod. When you figure out where you are shooting from set up your tripod. Make sure nobody will be in front of it and make sure you have plenty of room around you, this way no one will trip over it or bump into it.

3. Use a shutter release cable or the built-in timer in your camera. This is very important as it will prevent you from having blurry or out of focus photos.

20121231 DSC 6914

4. Frame your shot. This is very important, you do not only want to shoot the fireworks but you want to tell a visual story. Make sure you include a landmark in your photos and make sure you are able to get all the fire works within your frame. You can test out a few different frames but make sure you are quick as the fireworks display can be over before you know it. Shoot wide.

5. Focus. This is a tricky one but it does not have to be complicated. What I always do is I focus on my land mark and make sure that there will be enough room in the frame to get the fireworks within my photo. This will guarantee that your land mark is in focus and that your fireworks come out crisp and fill the rest of your frame.

6. DO NOT USE FLASH. Make sure you turn off your flash, you want to create a nice long exposure effect and having your flash on will trick your camera into thinking it needs a short exposure. NO FLASH.

DSC 1800

7. Shoot in Manual mode. Make sure you are in manual mode this way you have complete control of your camera. This will guarantee you get the exact results you are looking for.

8. ISO. Shoot at a low ISO try to keep it at 100. The fireworks put out so much light that this should not be a problem. This will assure you have a nice non-grainy photo.

9. Aperture. This is personal preference like with anything else, but if you are shooting a landmark and want everything in focus make sure you are at F9 and up (I always shoot at F11). This way you will have a nice sharp image and everything will be in focus.

10. Shutter speed. This is the most important setting. Creating a long exposure will assure you get the nice light tracers form the fireworks creating a dramatic and compelling photograph. You can experiment from 1 second to 30 seconds. A very safe number is about 8-15 seconds. If you put your camera on bulb mode you can use your remote trigger to experiment allowing you to get that perfect exposure.

Most important of them all is to experiment and have fun out there. Happy shooting!!!

DSC 1811