How To Photograph Fireworks

Fireworks are commonly used for celebrating special, momentous occasions and capturing the moment perfectly leaves everyone in awe. Although it is expected that anyone should be able to take fireworks photos, only a handful can capture the best shots. With a perfect guide, you can easily find yourself in the elite group of the best fireworks photographers.

· Focus

Set your camera in such a way that the autofocus system focuses on fireworks burst. Use the autofocus setting to focus on the first few bursts and then use manual focus to enable the camera’s focus to remain constant. This way, you will play a significant role in avoiding “focus hunting” during the action.

· White Balance

Set the Auto option to fine. To gauge your results, use your LCD. Try also other different settings to get different effects until you get one that best suits your shots. With this, try to be as flexible as possible for these best results.

· Noise Reduction

Consider that fireworks photos are low-light, however; they won’t be long enough to worry about noise build-up. So, it is advisable to leave the noise reduction off.

· Flash

To get the best fireworks photographs, leave the flash off. On the other hand, if you are interested in illuminating any foreground object, you can turn it on.


Set the ISO setting to low or leave it to the camera’s original setting if it has been taking photos correctly. Considering that you are using a tripod and also the firework explosions’ nature does not demand high ISOs as well as shutter speeds. The best speed to use is either 100 or 200.

· Mode

The best mode for fireworks photography is manual. With a manual setting, you have control of the aperture and the shutter speed. This way, you can easily make the exposure adjustments as needed.

· Aperture

Set this at mid-range. When capturing fireworks, your worry is not on the shallow field depths or capturing a lot of light instantly. Therefore, begin from f/8 moving towards f/11 or even f/16 if need be. You can also decide to go the other way. The trick is to stay flexible. Nonetheless, remember that mid-range apertures will give you the sharpest fireworks results.

· Shutter Speed

If your camera has the Bulb setting, use it. If not, try different shutter speeds to get at the most suitable one.

· Vibration Reduction

This shouldbe turned off since vibration reduction systems generally don’t go hand in hand with tripods.


With fireworks photos, there’s a thin line between premature shutter closing and the shutter being open too long. Also, note that overexposure of a fireworks photo is very easy hence you should check you LCD every other time to ensure that the shutter isn’t open for too long. For more on this, visit