One of the trickiest pictures to snap is capturing the beauty of a firework display. Even professional photographers have many trial and error photos when it comes to getting the best picture during a firework show. In honor of National Photography Month, we put together some tips to help even the photography novice get a few great shots of fireworks this summer.

Plan Ahead

The first step in getting the best picture of a professional fireworks display is to find the right spot to view the show. You want an unobstructed view to capture both low and high bursts. For a darker background, try to face the display to the east; many performances start right at dusk and the eastern sky will be the darkest. Make sure to get there early to reserve your spot and have time to get ready to start shooting.

Prepare Your Equipment

Even if you do not have all the special equipment of a professional photographer, there are a few things that are helpful in getting the best picture during a fireworks display. Here are three tips to get your equipment prepared to snap a great firework pic:

– First, setting your shutter speed on your camera is essential. You must slow down the speed to capture those big bursts in the sky.  Try setting your shutter speed between two and ten seconds, adjusting as needing for the darkness.
– Secondly, use a tripod if possible. You need a steady camera to get the best picture; a little wobble and the picture can be ruined. Make sure you adjust for the height of the display once it starts so you get the entire burst into the frame.
– Third, turn off auto-focus and manually focus your camera as needed. Firework displays are all different and you most likely will need to adjust your focus after taking the first few pictures.

Don’t Wait for the Finale

Although the finale usually contains the best fireworks, it is not always the best time to get a great photograph. By the end of the show, there is usually plenty of smoke that can blur your pictures. Try getting as many pictures as you can early in the performance when the sky is still clear. This also helps you make whatever adjustments that are needed before the big finale begins.

Keep in mind that every firework show will have different lighting, height and view adjustments that should be accounted for. It usually takes several adjustments early in the display to get your camera aligned right to capture the best shot.

While capturing firework performances through photography is wonderful, it is even more fun to participate in your own firework show. Visit us at Alamo Fireworks this summer to stock up on all the fireworks you will need to make your own fantastic firework display. We have everything you need to make your summer festivities sparkle!

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