This post is a little late for this year's July 4th fireworks, but in case you want to be prepared for next year, here are some tips for photographing fireworks.
- Set your camera on a tripod.
- Focus on a distant object (or focus on the first few fireworks) and then turn-off auto-focus.
- Set your aperture to f/10-16 (varies depending on brightness and distance of the fireworks).
- Set the shutter for 2 or 3 seconds.
- Alternatively, I set my camera to bulb and use a remote. With the remote, I manually hold the shutter for 2 or 3 seconds depending on how many fireworks are going off.
- Optimally, you should be perpendicular to the wind so the smoke moves out of the way. Unfortunately, winds may be hard to predict or may shift during the fireworks show.
When photographing fireworks in a large city such as New York City or Washington, D.C. there may be many fireworks going off at once. Sometimes, the next fireworks are going off before the previous ones have even cleared. Anyway, the biggest part is practice! Take these tips and try photographing fireworks a few times and you will get the hang of it!