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Tips & Tricks // Photographing & Editing Fireworks

My last editing related post was a huge hit and many people asked for more, so… here it is!

I didn’t have a great chance to photography fireworks on July 4th because I had a two year old in my lap for most of it.  She wasn’t too keen on them, poor thing, but afterwards she insisted that she loved them!

Because I didn’t get any spectacular shots, I wanted to do something a little different to spice up my photos.  After playing around in Lightroom for a bit I landed on this edit as my favorite.  I love the blue sky background and the green of the trees!Here’s a before & after look for you:

One key here is to shoot in RAW and have a long shutter speed.  You can either be very still (no breathing!) or use a tripod.  Because of the aforementioned two year old, I didn’t bring a tripod, so I sat very, very still.

Side note: When I first started learning photography I was so frustrated because I had such a hard time getting pictures that weren’t blurry inside.  It’s because my shutter speed was so slow in order to make up for the lack of light. I learned how to be very, very still!

ISO: 50   Focal Length: 17mm   Shutter Speed: 2 seconds (not 1/2 second)    f/2.8

In contrast, I typically don’t use anything less than 1/200th of a second for a shutter speed when photographing people.  So having the shutter open for 2 full seconds is a long time!  But it’s necessary for fireworks.  If I had a tripod and bigger fireworks, I would have left it open even longer!

Did you take pictures of fireworks?  I’d love to see them!  I love how each image is unique!