How to Photograph Fireworks

How do we photograph fireworks? Who doesn’t love fireworks?

They are spectacular, majestic, and have a feel-good thing about them that evoke many emotions among the onlookers.

What about capturing photographs of these fireworks?

Well, that might seem like a daunting task and it is in no way easy if you are just beginning out in photography. However, once you get a hang of it, you will be able to capture some truly mesmerizing shots.

Here are some tips to help you get started the right way.

How to photograph fireworks

The Gear

While you can photograph fireworks with minimal gear, you will not be able to get sharp high-quality images unless you have the right gear and equipment for the job. Here is a list of what you need.

  • A DSLR or mirrorless or any camera that allows you to shoot manual mode
  • It is better to have two lenses that offer a good zoom, such as 70-200mm and 24-70mm
  • A tripod to ensure camera shake doesn’t affect the image quality and make it blur

Turn the Camera to Manual Mode

You will not be able to click the best focused and sharp images of the fireworks if it is on auto-focus. Thus, use manual mode and set the aperture and exposure yourself. The exposure and aperture speed should be f/11 at ½ second if the base ISO of your camera is 100. Change the shutter speed if the photos appear too dim but keep the aperture the same.

Use Slow Shutter Speed

When you are photographing fireworks, you will be using long exposures. Hence, use slow shutter speed to ensure you capture a sharp image. Also, make sure the camera is secured on a tripod. You can either use timer to take photos or a remote to keep the camera safe from shaking.

How to take photos of fireworks

Framing the Shot

Deciding where to aim your camera is one of the most difficult parts when it comes to photographing fireworks. For this, reach the venue early and choose a location before it gets too crowded to even get in there. When setting up your camera, make sure it is in a position where people’s heads will not come in the frame. Also, think about the background and the foreground. If you are not sure where the fireworks will be shot into the sky, ask one of the organizers to get a better idea where to set up the camera.

You can choose to go vertical or horizontal when clicking photos of fireworks. If you are aiming to add some landscape to the photos or are going to capture multiple bursts at the same time, choose a horizontal frame. On the other hand, if you want to capture the vertical motion of the fireworks, then the vertical frame will work better.


It is best to stick to the lowest levels of ISO when clicking photos of fireworks. This will allow you to get as clean shots as possible.


You don’t really need flash when you are clicking photos of fireworks. Having your flash on will only make the camera think it needs a shorter exposure time, which you don’t need. Thus, it is better to switch off the flash to get better images.

Make sure you check your photos time and again while the display is still going on. This will help you fix anything that you might feel is a little off in the photos. This will also help prevent taking an entire batch of bad photographs. Go on and shoot those fireworks that light up the sky. Don’t forget to use the above tips to get the best photos.

Here is another article on how to photograph fireworks. Remember to keep practicing and do not stop shooting during the show. Shoot as much as you can.