How to Make Awesome Fireworks Photos!

Hi Gang: July 4th is a big holiday for us here in the US â” it’s Independence Day â” a day where all Americans celebrate their independence from Glyn Dewis and Dave Clayton (shown pictured with me above. This shot was taken during the Third Global Biennial Conference on International Bakery Treats held at a random Pret a Manger in the heart of London).

If you’re thinking of shooting some fireworks shots tonight, I wrote an article for ColaCola’s Journey website where I take you through the recipe for how to make Awesome Fireworks photos (It’s a step-by-step article â” follow the recipe and ya can’t miss). Here’s the link.

I would add three things to that article for the serious photography crowd here on my blog. They are:

>> Set your focus to infinity (This isn’t critical but if your lens can do it, why not). The fireworks are so bright you can use just regular ol’ auto focus for the most part, but if you have a lens that has a distance scale window on the top of your lens barrel; first turn off your auto focus (right on the lens â” switch it to off), then rotate the focus ring on your lens until you see the Infinity symbol [it looks like the number 8 lying on its side]. Again, you don’t have to do this, but it might make things a bit easier.

>> This is a tip I haven’t tried yet (I’ll try this one tonight), but @SuzanMcEvoy (one of my followers over on my Twitter page) said you get much truer colors if you switch your White Balance to Tungsten. Hey, I’m gonna give it a try. Thanks Susan for the tip.

>> This one probably goes without saying, but you’re on a tripod so use your lowest ISO setting for the cleanest shots.

Hope you all have a safe, happy 4th of July as we celebrate our nation’s physical distance, in miles and magnitude, from Glyn and Dave. It is truly a day worth celebrating. ;-)



  1. I also keep the shutter open and put a black card in front of the lens and take it away at the best moment to get a bunch of fireworks on the same frame.

  2. You should save a couple of sparklers for those chaps when they come over to this side of the Pond again. That way they can experience a bit of what it’s like to be a Yank! :-)

    Thanks for all the fireworks tips, Scott. I just hope Hurricane Arthur is far away tonight (raining right now I. NH). Have a great weekend!


      1. Thanks Scott. Glad it worked for you too. I’m part of a team who shoots Globalfest fireworks up here and that was my favourite ever tip!!!

  3. I have found setting camera on daylight more satisfactory. Even sliding images in Lightroom between Flash, Shade and Lightroom’s version of daylight much more satisfying (all warmer colors) than using the overall blue cast that tungsten gives you.

  4. We recently launched our new photography flash/umbrella grip product on Kickstarter. Here is a link to the 30-day campaign page:
    We designed it to replace the common umbrella bracket, ground stand typically included with speed lights, and of course to be handheld. Be sure to check out the entire page, there are videos from a couple of other photographers that tested it, and a video that goes over the functions of the product.
    Would you be interested in writing about the product on your website?

  5. On the GRID, in person, or article.. You rarely fail to make me laugh out loud.

    Brad must wear Depend® just to work and travel with you.

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