How to photograph fireworks

How to photograph fireworks | Mollie Makes

Read our top three photography tips and learn how to photograph fireworks

Whether you’re celebrating Bonfire Night this evening or saving your sparklers for the weekend, your camera will be in high demand. Say goodbye to blurry, boring firework pics, this year we’ll be capturing party snaps (find tips here), lively sparklers and gorgeous firework displays like a pro.

Not sure how to capture those magical moments? Learn how in three steps…

1. Camera settings

As well as ISO, there are two other settings you’ll need to get your head around when shooting fireworks, or any photograph for that matter: the shutter speed and the aperture.

Shutter speed determines how long the shutter stays open and is measured in seconds or a fraction of a second. Longer shutter speeds create more light and shorter speeds, less. Since fireworks are bright set your camera’s shutter speed to around 8 seconds, as you’ll want the fireworks to draw colourful lines across your image.

Aperture controls how much light reaches the film. The smaller the F-number the bigger the aperture, this means more light. The aperture settings most used for firework displays are F-8 through F-16, shooting at narrower F-numbers will make your images soft, not sharp.

Keep your ISO setting low at around 100 or 200 to prevent too much noise.

2. Test shots

Use the first firework as a test shot to find your focal point and manage your settings. Take the photo as soon as you hear or see the rocket and leave the shutter open until the burst disappears. If your photos are over exposed or blow out, check your F-stop settings before changing the shutter speed.

3. Use a tripod

Since you’re using a longer shutter speed it’s essential that you keep your camera as still as possible. Keep it steady on a tripod and use a remote release device to take the photo. Look Mum, no hands!

Now you can confidently snap away while you enjoy the rest of the show. Happy Guy Fawkes Night xx

Here’s another great article on aperture and a shutter and aperture visual decoder here.


Image source:

Get the full tutorial for this fireworks embroidery pattern by Mollie Johanson

embroidered fireworks on hoop


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