5 Great Tips to Shooting Fireworks

5 Great Tips to Shooting Fireworks

With the Fourth of July just around the corner we want to give you some tips to help you capture the fireworks celebration in all its glory.

Pick a location and get there early

This is easily the most important tip. Independence day is a big deal in almost every town in America so finding a spot and getting set up with the best possible view is ultra important. Find out where the fireworks are being launched, then set up where it will give you the best view. Finding a less populated area is obviously the best option but that may not be possible so be creative and make it work for you.

Use a sturdy tripod

It is very important to use a sturdy tripod. Shooting fireworks without a tripod is nearly impossible.  The slightest camera shake or movement will ruin the photo.  You need a tripod to stabilize the shot and allow you to shoot a long exposure.  You'll need to experiment with exposure settings too so you can find the right setting for the photo you want to capture.

Set your ISO low

Ideally your ISO should be set around 100 or 200, for several reasons. The higher the ISO, the more noise you'll have in your photos.  And, since you will want to take long exposure shots, which tend to increase noise, to get the full effect of the fireworks keeping the ISO low will eliminate that variable.

Use a Neutral density filter

Using a neutral density filter will allow you to take even longer exposures. This will also help your fireworks look long a full instead of short and stubby, which is what will happen if your exposure is too short. On the other hand, if you are getting too many bursts in one shot and it’s coming out over exposed, shorten the exposure time. A polarizing filter will work to a lesser degree also.

Shoot early in the show

Shoot early and often, so you get as many bursts into each shot as you want.  The longer the show goes on it will get harder to see clear bursts because the smoke and haze will get thicker.  When the haze and smoke become an issue, begin experimenting by zooming in and getting more abstract shots of the fireworks. There are ways to work around the smoke, so be creative.

Don’t forget to have a great time and enjoy! And of course share any photos you guys take on Instagram with the hashtag #shootslik or tag us @slikusa!

Happy Independence Day!