Capturing the fireworks on the Fourth of July or any other holiday, can be extremely difficult. Not many camera’s are designed to take the magnificent photographs you see in books and magazines. A digital camera makes it even harder, as the pictures tend to turn out grainy and unfocused in low light.
Most scrapbooker’s that I have talked to, have admitted that one, they wish they had a picture or two of fireworks to include on their Fourth of July layouts. And two, that they knew how to take a better picture of the fireworks. So I’d like to teach you how to take a better fireworks photograph.
You have to have a tripod. There really isn’t any way around it. In order to capture a good photograph, your camera (yes, even digital) will need to be kept perfectly still for several seconds. You can attempt to take the photograph without the tripod, however you will need to remain perfectly still for the camera to capture the exposure and it is extremely difficult.
Besides the tripod, it is also really helpful to have a cable connected to the camera so that you do not move, touch, bounce or knock into the camera at all. Even the slightest shake will cause the exposure to come out wrong.
If you still use a film camera, it is extremely important to use a slower speed. For years, I was told a faster speed was what I needed, and I will be the first to tell you that no, it sure isn’t. In fact, a slower speed, will allow more color and vibrancy. A good ISO 50, 64, or 100 speed film is your ideal speed.
Taking the Photographs
First, if you camera is an automatic and it doesn’t matter if it is film or digital, change the setting to a night setting or similar setting. This is extremely important. Now get ready, once you see the firework set off, in other words, you see the faint glow as it rises in the sky, press the button to take the picture just before the firework explodes.
Using this method, you should wind up with clear, beautiful firework photographs. It will take some getting used to, as you won’t be able to rapidly shoot photographs as you are used to. It will be a slow process where only a shot or two might produce the desired results. Be patient and keep trying.