Photographing Fireworks


Here are a few tips I have put together for your
4th of July Fireworks Photos.

  1. Use a Tripod. (do you notice a pattern here, always use your tripod, it can be one of your most important piece of equipment)
  2. Bring a flashlight, charged batteries, and plenty of empty memory cards
    Changing your camera settings in the dark can be difficult. Bring a small flashlight. You will be taking lots of pictures as you experiment, so bring extra memory cards and fully charged battery.
  3.  Find a great location early- make sure you don’t set up downwind from the fireworks, or you may get a lot of images of smoke and not much of the fireworks.
  4. Turn your flash off
  5. Noise reduction – if you are shooting long exposures you will increase the noise in your photo, turning on Noise Reduction will help reduce the noise but it will increase the amount of time for each exposure. This can be a personal preference; there is a lot of good software that do a great job reducing noise. 
  6. Use remote shutter release or self-timer to reduce vibrations
  7. Use manual settings – Set your focus to just less than infinity and manually adjust from there. Set aperture to F8 to F16. Drop your ISO to 50 or 100. Set your shutter speed to “Blub” which will keep shutter open. You can use a black card or even your hat to cover the lens between burst to capture multiple burst on one frame.
  8. Composition – Water, buildings, trees and landmarks make great backdrops to help create more interesting compositions. Try some shots with landmarks in the foreground and fireworks in the background. Also try silhouetting people against the fireworks glow for a neat effect.
  9. Timing – watch for the rockets to go up and try to time starting your exposure just before the fireworks explodes.
  10. Take lots of pictures, be creative, and have fun!

Please feel free to comment on my post,

You can see more of my photography on my Flickr page at or if you are interested in purchasing one of my photos go to


About Bruce Wunderlich

Bruce Wunderlich is a photographer from Marietta, Ohio. He became interested in photography as a teenager in the 1970s, and has been a passionate student of the art ever since. Bruce recently won Photographer’s Choice award and Grand Prize at the 2015 Shoot the Hills Photography Competition in the Hocking Hills near Logan, Ohio. He has also instructed local classes in basic digital photography. Check out Bruce’s photos at Flickr
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2 Responses to Photographing Fireworks

  1. Rhonda says:

    During your exposure try turning your focusing ring slowly and be amazed at the results!!! I had a friend teach me that and I couldnt believe the difference.

  2. Rhonda says:

    Here is a sample of what I am talking about Try it 😉

    RKL_0686 copy

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