When fireworks light up the night

Arial fireworks displays make great photos, and they’re relatively easy to do with  a digital camera.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Use a tripod. Absolutely essential, you can’t hold your camera steady for the long exposures (1 second to 30 seconds) that give the best results of arial bursts
  • Choose the right spot. You want a clear view of the sky, without any lights in the foreground (the long exposure you will make allows foreground lights to burn in pretty heavily)
  • Set your camera manually. You’ll be using long exposures to capture 1 or several bursts. 
  • Some basic settings: ISO 200, f8, 2 seconds.
  • Use a self-timer or cable release so you don’t shake the camera. Digital camera self timers can usually be set to a 2-second delay.
  • Manually focus or set the camera to infinity (the “landscape” mode on many small digital models)
  • Turn off the automatic flash.
  • Since you can see the results, feel free to change your settings.

And when you’re done, order a big print on metallic paper!

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