Each year, Exeter Round Table deliver an incredible Fireworks Display in aid of Devon Air Ambulance and other great local causes.

However good you might be at taking regular snaps, photographing fireworks is all the trickier, which can make it all too easy to end up with underwhelming blurry blobs rather than the fantastic spectacle you witnessed. With this difficulty in mind, here are our 5 tips to taking better firework photos!

1. Choose your tools

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 digital cameras. Nowadays you can make use of 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 a little 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 against your fiery backdrop.

2. Try a Tripod

One of the biggest challenges when taking photos is keeping the camera steady. Even with anti-blur features, the tiniest amount of movement when taking a photo at night can ruin your picture, especially when it comes to capturing 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.

3. Use Continuous Capture

The very nature of fireworks means that you have to act snappily to snap the right shot. It’s far too easy to misjudge the timing and be left with some great pictures of an empty sky. 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 picture.

4. Get Some Extra Help

Whether you’re using a phone or a digital camera, there are 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.

5. Don’t forget to enjoy them!

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 time! It's another good excuse to enjoy yourself.

Check our DAA events page in October for firework events in support of Devon Air Ambulance!