Useful Photography Tip #164: 5 Tips for Better Photos of FireWorks Using Your Phone

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Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here. Image by Andy Karmy.

For everyone here in America, Happy July 4th! But if you’re not reading this on the 4th, then consider these quick tips on taking better photos of fireworks with your mobile phone.

  • Use a manual settings app: Use an app that lets you set at least the focus manually. This way your phone isn’t searching in the darkness for the fireworks to appear. You can also use said app to adjust settings like shutter speed, locking ISO, etc. Go for long shutter speeds and a lower ISO setting. In general, underexpose just a bit.
  • Stabilize your phone: I’m not expecting everyone to use a tripod with their phone so instead just remember to tuck your elbows in when you shoot. This will keep the cameraphone much more stable. Also be sure to hold it with both hands.
  • Use the burst shot ability: Using burst helps a whole ton when it comes to getting the exact photo you care about a lot.
  • Scope Out and Claim a Spot: By ensuring that you get a good spot to watch the fireworks, you don’t have to worry about issues like people getting in the way of your images. Of course, that is if you’re super serious. This tip especially goes out to those of us (like me) who are vertically challenged.
  • Turn Your Flash Off: It’s honestly rather useless at that far of a range. That little LED bulb isn’t going to light up the night sky.

How to Get Better Photos of Fireworks

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Lead photo by Michal Ziembicki.

If you’re in the Western Hemisphere, you’re probably celebrating your nation’s Independence Day very soon. Naturally, you’re going to want to take photos and share them on the web for all your friends to like, comment, heart, etc. It’s often a joyous time for all of us; and it should surely be one for you too.

Here are a few tips on how to take better images of fireworks.

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How to Get Featured in National Geographic

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This is a syndicated blog post from Format Magazine. It’s contents are being used with exclusive permission. All images used with permission from Format

Sarah Leen, the magazine’s director of photography, gave us the inside scoop.

If you’re a photographer who’s serious about documenting unique people and places, getting published in National Geographic is pretty much the Holy Grail of career goals. To find out what it takes to get featured, we called up the magazine’s director of photography Sarah Leen.

Leen has a long history with the magazine—her first published story was a result of a college internship there in 1979. As a photojournalist, she’s travelled extensively, documenting lifestyles and landscapes in diverse locations ranging from Russia to Uganda to northern Canada.

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These Photos of Space Are Created Using Food and a Photo Scanner

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All images by Navid Baraty. Used with permission.

Photographer Navid Baratay was previously on this site for his Intersection piece, but he’s also the creator of a really amazing series involving food and a photo scanner. Navid arranges all the pieces very carefully to make them look like a scene from outer space. In fact, it would probably be otherwise very tough to tell the difference.

To do this, Navid tells us that it involves lots and lots of trial and error.

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Survey: Concert Attendees Basically Take Too Many Photos

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Western Digital recently finished a really interesting study about the way that people take pictures at concerts and festivals. Most people opt for smartphones (which isn’t surprising), and they often end up running out of storage. On top of that, they hate deleting images on their phone because it’s like deleting a memory. They want everything recorded.

Sad in some ways because it means that you can be spending so much time trying to document the moment vs experiencing it…yes, I know. But it gets even more interesting when you consider how much they actually really value these photos.

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The Digital Photographer’s Introduction to Lo-Fi Cameras

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LoFi cameras remove all the crazy, super technical things about pixel peeping and dynamic range to instead have the user focus on just creating an image that they’re really happy with. It often isn’t about much more than documenting a moment of fun. In some ways, these cameras give you limitations that will really appeal to only two major schools of photographers: complete beginners and complete masters. Those in between may become frustrated; but once you master what these cameras are capable of, you’ll be seriously surprised.

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MacPhun’s Aurora HDR Pro Updates to Include New Cameras

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Aurora HDR review photos images williamsburg waterfront Aurora (1 of 1)ISO 2002.5 sec at f - 16

MacPhun’s Aurora HDR, one of the best HDR programs out there, just got a new update. It now includes support for the RAW files of various new cameras. Additionally, there are various performance improvements to the Photos extension, Alignment, Luminosity histogram, and previews with the tone mapping result set to the default. Plus your presets that you’ve created will be synced in both the standalone program and the extension.

More info is after the jump; but if you’re an HDR lover then you really should check out this program.

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Soviet Swing: An Essay by Daniel Zvereff

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Photo Essays is a series on the Phoblographer where photographers get to candidly speak their mind about a specific subject or project of theirs. Want to submit? Send them [email protected]

All images and text by Daniel Zvereff. Be sure to also follow him on Facebook and Instagrm. This post was originally published here.

Suspended over the impossibly steep slopes and down into the valley of Chiatura, countless steel cables twist across the sky like a web of indiscernible dimension. A gruff man, red faced and smoking a cigarette, ushers me into a steel box hanging from the cables, then closes the door and locks it from outside. Within the cable car there are no chairs, just rudimentary holes cut into the steel plate, their edges rusting beneath a thin veneer of blue spray paint. I poke my head out in time to see the man approaching a box on the wall nearby, he presses something within and rings a bell notifying an operator above that a passenger is ready to ascend. Immediately, the cable car lurches into motion and I am lifted, swinging slowly up into the sky.

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