7 Tips on How to Shoot Fantastic Fireworks Photos on the Fourth of July

It’s that time of year when everyone is searching for tips on how to shoot amazing fireworks photos on the Fourth of July. For some great advice on this topic, we turn to one of our favorite photographers on YouTube, Pierre T. Lambert who shares the video below, which is titled "How to Shoot Fireworks: 7 Secrets to Photograph Fireworks Like a Boss.”

For the tips below, Lambert notes they apply to any camera you might be using: DSLR, compact camera, or phone. And, if you’re from France like Pierre is, they could also (of course) apply to shooting fireworks on Bastille Day on July 14th. Here are his 7 “secrets” to capturing great fireworks photos.

#1 You can use any camera that has manual mode. If you have a phone, download a long exposure app or use the live mode on an iPhone (you can create long exposure from live photos - Google it)

#2 You don't need a tripod! All you need is a stable spot to put your camera. I often put my camera on the floor or on my backpack. If you still want a tripod here are options:

#3 You have to experiment to get the right shot. Try different settings to get the results you want. Here are the ones I start with: ISO 100, F/5.6, shutter speed at 3 seconds, WB auto. Take a picture and if it's too dark or too bright, modify the settings to get it right.

#4 Don't shoot in JPEG. Shoot in Raw or Raw+JPEG. You can then leave the WB in auto and will have a ton of editing range.

#5 The longer you expose (shutter speed 3,5,10s) the more firework you will have in your picture. Too long might get too bright and too confusing!

#6 Don't shoot just the fireworks. At least try something new. Give a sense of place/ambiance in your image. Shoot the cityscape, the people, the background with the fireworks.

#7 Underexpose a little. This will protect the highlight of the fireworks and help you edit more easily.

See more of Lambert’s great videos on his YouTube channel. And if you’re looking for more fireworks photography advice, check out these two other stories we’ve shared with great tips.

10 Tips to Tell Your Novice Photography Friends on How to Shoot Fireworks

Here’s How to Shoot Spectacular Fireworks Photos Next Week on the 4th of July (VIDEO)