Brush Up on Your Fireworks Photography Skills with These Tutorials

With fireworks season coming soon, it’s time to learn how to get stunning snaps of these aerial light shows or brush up on your skills if you already have an idea how it’s done. Cover photo by Andrew Harnik.

Whether you’re already planning to shoot fireworks during the upcoming Independence Day celebrations or will soon be attending events with fireworks displays, it’s always worth preparing to photograph the big day. We have loads of tips and tutorials you can use to learn how to shoot fireworks, whether you’re a total novice or someone who needs a refresher. Don’t know where to begin? We’ve picked a bunch for you to check out first!

The Absolute Basics of Shooting Photos of Fireworks

As the title suggests, this tutorial will give you an idea about the basics of shooting fireworks, from the gear to the camera settings. “Shooting fireworks, like many things in photography, is actually a whole lot simpler than you might be making it out to be in your head,” we wrote. The tutorial features a five minute video from The School of Photography, so it’s a good one to start with if you’re looking for something quick to study.

An Introduction to Shooting Better Images of Fireworks

Once you have a basic understanding of fireworks photography basics, it’s time to get a little more in-depth with the gear you’ll need, shooting mode, the shooting “formula” you’ll want to keep in mind, and why it’s best to shoot wide.

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How to Get Better Photos of Fireworks

Now, this one also covers some extra details, but take it as a checklist of some tips for shooting with your smartphone, choosing the right lens, making sure you get the best spot, and the camera settings you can play around with to get great results. We also explain here why it’s better to use a tripod instead of hand-holding your camera, as well as why it’s important to have a quick break in between shots.

Fireworks shot on 35mm Fuji Velvia film. Nikon F5, probably with an AF-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 ED-IF lens. Shutter speed in the 6 to 15-second range @ f/8 or f/11.
CamScan made with a Nikon D850, Nikon PB-6 bellows, Rodenstock APO-Rodagon 75mm f/4 D lens, and PRL Lighting Lustra L-50 daylight balance LED light source

How to Shoot Fireworks with Film: An Analog Photography Tutorial

Are you a film photographer wanting to try out fireworks photography? It’s a little more challenging, but we got you covered! This tutorial will help you prepare ahead to tips the odds to your favor, choosing between color negative films and slide films, deciding which format (35mm, 120, or large format) to use, and, of course, getting your exposures right.

How to Take the Best Photos of Fireworks That You’ve Ever Made

This tutorial also mentions some of the basics again just to cover all the bases. But the parts you should pay closer attention to talk about the right “ingredients” for fireworks photography, deciding what you’re really shooting, shooting in RAW, and adding a “people” element to make your photos more interesting.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer SNAP! Pro iPhone case review images product photos (4 of 8)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 2.8

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

Decided to do away with all the hefty gear and just shoot with your phone this time? There’s nothing wrong with that, so we’ve also got you covered with some quick and easy tips to keep in mind to get Instagram-worthy shots!