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How to Photograph Fireworks

Maybe you’ve avoided taking pictures of fireworks with your digital camera because you thought capturing photos of fireworks’ bursts of color was too difficult. The secret to shooting fireworks is to do a little planning.


Choose your spot.

You can position yourself up close and capture the display from underneath the exploding canopy, or you can get farther back and shoot the fireworks against a skyline. Just avoid a view that’s obstructed by buildings, trees, or very tall fellow observers.


Use a tripod.

Set your camera on a tripod so that it remains rock-steady during exposures that can last several seconds.


Evaluate your photos.

Take a few pictures at the beginning of the display and check your exposures.


Use longer exposures.

This allows you to capture multiple bursts in one frame.


Shoot Camera Raw images.

By taking Camera Raw photos, you can adjust exposure and other parameters when you import the image into your photo editor.


Don’t use noise reduction.

Turn noise reduction off. The extra time required to create the noise reduction “dark frame” can cause you to miss the next blast-off.

Don’t forget to enjoy the show! After you set up your camera and frame an area of the sky where the bursts will appear, just watch the display without peering through the viewfinder. Trigger your shots by pressing the shutter release button or using a remote control.

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