fireworks photographySo it’s already the Fourth of July and you’re getting ready to take lots of photographs with your camera. You’ve already booked a nice view in a tall building or maybe even your office has let you go up the penthouse floor to get a good view of the light show while you put in some overtime work. However, when you attempted to take pictures of the fireworks last year, they all turned out blurry and of poor quality. Ever shot seemed to be blurry and they weren’t really fireworks as much as they were firestorms that did not resemble any beautiful sphere that one would like to look at.

So what does one need to have in order to take spectacular photos of fireworks? There are a few essentials that you need to remember to bring, and for others, it might discourage you. But the tradeoff for lugging around such pricey and heavy equipment is quite worth it.

What you’ll need: an SLR camera, a tripod, for setting the camera in place, a cable release, a telephoto lens and last but not the least, a lot of patience. One of the finer points in taking pictures of fireworks is that you really don’t know exactly when they will actually explode. The best hint that you have is seeing the trail of the rockets going up just right before they hit their apex. So, in order to capture fireworks, you need to have your camera’s shutter open for an estimated time of about 2-30 seconds. This type of feature is not readily available for most point-and-shoot cameras so it will be very important that you will have a camera that will allow you to do this whenever you want.

The SLR cameras have a “Bulb” exposure mode which allows you to manually adjust the length by which the shutter of the camera is open. In doing this, you will eventually capture the trails of the fireworks, even if you were not able to capture them seconds before they exploded. Since the shutter of your camera is open the whole time it is extending its trails, it will be able to record that in full sharpness and detail as long as you are able to keep your camera still.

Now, about keeping your camera perfectly still…it’s time you take a look at your tripod. You absolutely need that if you are even serious about taking a blur-free picture of the fireworks. It is important that you are able to keep your camera steady for the entire exposure because you need to remember that the slightest movement while it is open will eventually blur your picture.

Even if you think you’re holding the camera very steady, it will eventually show signs of blur when you zoom in on the pictures that you’ve taken. So, your best bet to getting high quality, sharp pictures is to restrict motion in your camera and set it on a tripod for optimum steadiness. The cable release allows you to not touch your camera’s shutter and thus jiggling the body, the telephoto lens gets you as close as possible to the fireworks and finally your patience will give birth to a lot of good pictures in the long run.