How to take Firework Pictures: Quick Tips

How to take Firework Pictures Quick Tips

by Bessie Young

Can you believe it is already the 4th of July?! Time sure does fly by. I am sure you all want to be able to take some amazing pictures of the fireworks, your kids playing with sparklers, and just the festivities that the 4th of July brings.

How to Photograph Fireworks by Bessie Young Photography - Photography tips and tricks

Here are a few quick tips on how to take some great firework shots:

1. Scope out your location : This is key to a great shot.

2. Use a tripod : this will keep your camera stable and allow the images to not be blurry

3. Use a cable release or wireless remote : This will decrease the possibility of camera shake

4. Shoot the image in as high of quality as you can : I shoot in RAW

5. Turn off Auto focus and manually focus your lens to infinity: I set up when it is bright outside and find my best focus. Then, when it gets dark I know for certain that my image is going to be crisp sharp.

6. Turn your flash off.

7. Use manual mode on your camera.

  • Shutter Speed: Think about how you want the fireworks to look. Do you want them to be streaks in the sky, or do you want a burst of light? If you want streaks in the sky you need to set your shutter speed to 15 seconds or more. Bulb mode is optimal. You can use bulb mode and your shutter release cable. This will allow you to keep the shutter open as long as you would like. Be careful if you are trying to get multiple bursts as it is very easy to overexpose the image.
  • ISO : Shooting at a low ISO will keep for a clean shot. You really need to know your camera and at what ISO your camera will begin to get grain. I typically set mine to 400 or less.
  • Aperture : Keep your aperture between 8 and 16.
  • Hint: A good starting point is to set your settings at ISO 100, F 11, and 30 sec exposure. If the photos are too dim, keep the shutter open longer.
Ironstone Vineyards 4th of July Celebration  - Bessie Young Photography-7 combined trees.jpg

8. Experiment : experiment with different settings but make sure to track your results. This way you know what works best.

Now go get out there and have fun. Happy 4th of July!!!


P.S. wanna know what gear I used? Check it out here:

Kit Used:

Camera: Sony A7Rii:
Favorite Lens: Sony FE 24-70 F2.8 G Master:
Best Wide Angle: Sony 16-35mm lens:
Vanguard Tripod:

LG G3 Smart Phone

Editing & Processing:
Bulk editing: Adobe Lightroom:
Fine tuning: Adobe Photoshop :
Viva Video Pro for combining videos