How to Photograph Fireworks

I’m sure we’ve all tried to capture the stunning glory we know as fireworks on our cell phones, and although they’re getting better over time, they just can’t come close to that you can capture of a camera! While you’re gearing up for your Fourth of July events grab your camera and capture the exciting moments. I’ll teach you how:

What you will need:

  • A Tripod
  • A camera with manual setting
  • Remote (optional)


  • Find a spot to watch fireworks, I like sitting on top of a mountain to see the whole city.
  • Attach your camera to your tripod and get all setup (plug in your remote).
  • Set your settings, double check you have a memory card, and wait for the firework show


For this kind of photo you will want to do a long exposure to ensure that your capture that moment it bursts, it’s hard to time it perfectly although not impossible. The long exposure also gives you the streams and shows the full effect of the firework, rather than just the moment it bursts.

Here are some tips when setting your settings:

  • Exposure: Your exposure depends on what you want to capture. If you only want to capture 1 firework then it will be shorter, if you want to capture multiple fireworks it will be longer.
  • Aperture (f/stop): You want your f/stop to be fairly small (aka large numbers) to ensure all your image is in focus.
  • ISO: I like to keep my ISO as low as possible to keep noise and grain to a minimum.

The following image was taken at f/11 for 64 seconds at ISO 100. I wanted to capture multiple fireworks at once so the fireworks you see in the photo all went off in the duration of 64 seconds. I wanted to make sure the city and the fireworks were in focus so my aperture was set to 11. And like I said I keep my ISO low as possible, which also allows me to take a longer exposure.

Once you have an idea of how long of an exposure you want and what your f/stop should be, you need to play around with all 3 settings to get a photo that is exposed perfectly.

Pro Tips:

  • Turn off auto stabilizer on your lens
  • Use a remote to reduce camera shake
  • Zoom out, you can always crop it later
  • Have fun!!

The most important thing is to have fun! And don’t forget to enjoy the fireworks too 🙂 If your firework photos are successful tag me in them so I can see too! Good luck!

❤︎ Tara T

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