How To Shoot Fireworks

How to photograph Fireworks via

While in Disneyland, I once again used this little photography lesson that I learned from The Pioneer Woman: How To Shoot Fireworks.

I first tested it out while ringing in the new year (2009) with Sparklers. You can see it HERE.

Just in time for all the big fireworks this weekend for Independence Day, I thought I would list it out right here for you, (and for me) so I don’t forget. It’s a fun trick, especially with Sparklers. Here is her abbreviated How To:

1. You need to use a tripod. (I don’t trust myself to be that steady.)
2. Slow Shutter Speed – 20-30 seconds, Aperture around F8, with a low ISO.
3. Use a wide angle lens 12-18 mm. I just used my kit lens and set it to 18mm.

When you’re ready to take a photo, click the shutter release button and wait. It’ll be awhile before it clicks, and when it does, check your screen and see how the exposure is. If it’s too bright, adjust the aperture and make it smaller (higher number.) You want to leave your shutter speed really slow, because that will pick up all the trails and wonderful movement of the fireworks. And you want to keep your ISO low so your photos won’t be grainy.

Thanks Again Pee Dub!

The main reason I wanted to have our tripod with us on this trip, was because I got this idea in my head and I wanted to try it out. I wanted a picture of us in the crowd at Disneyland, with the crowd all a blurr and us in focus. I really like how they turned out.

The trick is staying very still. I used all the same tips that I listed above to shoot fireworks.

You should try it out this weekend, you might even catch Tinkerbell in action. 😉

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  1. Nichole says

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and don't think I have left a comment yet. So I just wanted to tell you that I love love LOVE your crowd pictures where they are a blur. I am an aspiring photographer and love taking pictures so you can be sure I will be trying this technique soon!

  2. Tiffany says

    your pics turned out great! My hub and I were just talking about a crowd blur picture. very cool!

  3. Christi says

    LOVE this! (Also, love your blog!) This idea totally reminds me of the movie A Lot Like Love. If you haven't seen it, then you must. Very cute.

  4. Lacey Jane says

    Wow- we did have (almost) the exact trip! Too bad we didn't see you at Disneyland!

    And these photos are awesome! I was too lazy to carry around my camera, but now I'm wishing I did after looking at these amazing photos!

  5. Omgirl says

    Very interesting stuff. I got out my very non-amazing digital camera to see how many of those things it would let me adjust. It will let me adjust aperature and shutter speed. I haven't found ISO yet. And the slowest shutter speed I can get is 15 seconds. I'm also not sure how to adjust the angle on this camera since it is just a built-in lense. It says it goes 5.8mm to 29mm, but I'm not sure if that's true. Any thoughts???

  6. bethany says

    nice work!! i never have the tolerance to carry around my tripod, i am so impressed! you have inspired me! :)

  7. Diane says

    I like in your pictures it shows people but not all their faces and not clearly, like the subjects. Great idea.

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