3 easy tips for great fireworks photos

Independence Day is just around the corner, and that means fireworks!

Fireworks can be tricky to photograph, but not if you plan ahead and keep a few things in mind while you’re shooting:

Steady! A tripod is the best way to make sure your fireworks photos turn out great, since your camera needs to be still for a longer period of time to take a nice picture in low light. If you don’t have a tripod or monopod, you can try setting your camera on a flat, steady surface and using its self-timer or remote function so you won’t need to touch your phone.

Blurry Detroit fireworks
Here’s what handheld fireworks photos look like – not very good!
Detroit fireworks
The same vantage point as the shot above, except the camera is placed on a ledge and fired via self-timer

Turn HDR on your iPhone/Android camera: If you’re using a smartphone like an iPhone to take your fireworks photos, we suggest turning HDR (high dynamic range) on your phone. This takes a few photos with different exposures at once, then combines them into one photo. HDR can be a good way to capture vivid fireworks displays against the dark night sky.

Don’t wait for the grand finale: Everyone loves the grand finale of fireworks (“ooh! aah!”) – but they’re usually not the best time to take photos. Why? Your photos will show the smoke from the entire fireworks show, which will be more noticeable on camera than in real life. Don’t believe us? Check out the photo below!

GrandFinale
This would be an amazing photo of the fireworks grand finale… if it wasn’t for all the smoke!

Of course, you can get more advanced with your fireworks photos. Adjusting your shutter speed and aperture and ISO levels can really pay off, but for casual photographers, these tips will help out this Independence Day weekend. Don’t forget to take more photos than you think you might need, since it’s easier to review them once you’re home after the big show!

Wherever you enjoy fireworks this year, show off your best photos after the event on one of our new outdoor photo pillows, gallery wrap canvases, fleece photo blankets, or one of our other printed-to-order photo products.

All of us at Collage.com wish you a safe and happy Independence Day weekend!

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