On 5th November it’s the Exeter Round Table Star Wars themed Fireworks Display, which will raise money for Devon Air Ambulance and other great local causes!
However good you might be at taking regular snaps, fireworks bring together a tricky combo of light and dark… which makes it easy to end up with some blurry blobs of light rather than the fantastic spectacle you want to capture. With that in mind, here are our 5 tips to take better firework photos!
Choose Your Tools
You might want to leave your antique 1900s camera at home.
Before you go anywhere near a firework, you need to decide on the tools for the job.
You can get surprisingly good photos on your smartphone, and the cameras on some high-end models can even rival dedicated digital cameras. Nowadays you can enjoy anti-shake systems, dual lenses, and rapid autofocus… right from your pocket! As well as being easy to take with you, with a smartphone you can take advantage of special photo modes and apps (more on that later) too.
However, if you want something with a bit more professional (or you’re just old-school), a compact or DSLR camera is a great option too. With a “proper” camera you’ll be able to fine-tune more of the settings such as ISO and shutter speed… although it might not be quite as easy to take a selfie.
Try a Tripod
Even a tiny bit of shake can make the light trails blurry.
One of the biggest challenges when taking photos is keeping the camera steady! Even with anti-blur features, the smallest amount of movement when taking a photo at night can ruin your picture… especially when it comes to fireworks. A phone or camera tripod can mostly eliminate this problem, although it might not be so easy to set one up in the middle of an excited crowd. Of course, you can always try using The Force to keep the camera still instead.
Use Continuous Capture
Aim for the middle one.
The very nature of fireworks means that it’s hard to get the right shot. It’s far too easy to misjudge the timing and be left with some great pictures of a galaxy far, far away- and completely miss the fireworks. So take advantage of a continuous capture mode and just hold that shutter down when the bang is imminent! You can always sort through the shots later to find the perfect photo.
Get Some Extra Help
A long exposure makes fireworks look pretty cool.
Whether you’re using a phone or a digital camera, there’s a few tools that will help you get the most out of your firework photos. Firstly, most digital cameras and some phones will have a dedicated fireworks or night mode that will give you the optimal settings without having to tweak a single thing. Secondly, on mobile you can take advantage of a variety of apps to add an extra dimension to your photos, such as long exposure, filters and effects.
Don’t forget to enjoy the fireworks!
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in taking photos that you forget to actually watch the fireworks. So, if the shots aren’t quite coming out how you want them to, you can always just enjoy the display and try again next year! For now, why not take a look at last year’s spectacular display…