5 Tips To Getting Better Photos Of Fireworks With Your Phone

5 Tips To Getting Better Photos Of Fireworks With Your Phone

Kick the new year off with a bang!

It’s New Year’s eve, and as is tradition in this country, once the clock ticks midnight there’ll be massive explosions of fireworks all around the metro as we welcome the new year. Chances are you’ll be taking those photos with a smartphone, and today we’ll be giving you tips to give you the best chance of taking the most beautiful firework photos possible.

For best results, we recommend that you use your phone’s manual camera mode. If your phone doesn’t have manual mode, you can download third-party apps like Camera FV Lite, Manual Camera and DSLR Camera Pro. 

1. Find a good location

Location, location, location. Getting the best vantage point to watch explosions in the sky is honestly the most important step in getting the best photos with your phone. Try to find an unobstructed view of the sky to setup in, and stake your claim early. You don’t want to be taking photos of the backs of people’s heads, so get there as early as possible.

2. Bring a tripod

You’ll be shooting in the dark, and the best way to ensure your photos are relatively blur-free is to bring a tripod. There’s a multitude of affordable tripods available to buy today – worst case is you can pop into a CD-R King before they close later to grab one to use. Gorilla Pods like the one pictured are the best since you can set them up literally anywhere in your shooting location and provides plenty of flexibility when it comes to setup in whatever location you choose.

3. Set your ISO to the lowest possible setting

You’ll have to set the ISO on your phone to the lowest possible setting since higher ISOs will introduce a bunch of noise that’ll ruin your photos. We’ll also be tweaking another setting on our phone that will introduce a bunch of noise if your ISO settings aren’t on point.

4. Adjust your shutter speed for long exposures

Once you get your ISO speeds dialed in, you’ll now need to adjust your shutter speeds for low exposures. We recommend shutter times around 1-2 seconds to get the best results and the light trail as the fireworks arc up and explode. We also recommend taking test shots first to see if the sky is too bright or too dark with your other settings.

5. Use a timer or a Bluetooth trigger

Since you’ll be shooting long exposures, we recommend you using a quick timer each time you shoot a photo. Unless you have a really, really solid tripod, each time you touch your phone to shoot an image you’re introducing a little bit of movement which will be seen in your photo because of the long exposure time.

One way to mitigate this is the use of a Bluetooth trigger which sometimes comes with smartphone tripods/selfie sticks since you no longer have to touch the phone to take a photo.


BONUS: If you’re using a Huawei device, use Light Painting mode and forget about steps 3 and 4.

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