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person holding up their phone to take pictures of fireworks on the 4th of July

CS Tech Tip: How to take photos of fireworks

Taking good photos of fireworks and recording video can be tricky, but you don’t need a DSLR camera to capture crisp and clear images. These simple photography and smartphone video tips can help you photograph fireworks using just your smartphone.

Stabilize Your Device

Whether you’re using a smartphone or tablet to photograph fireworks, make sure your device is as still as possible. This will prevent your photos and videos from being blurry or out of focus. There are plenty of affordable tools that can help keep your device stable while taking photos and recording video, like tripods, camera stabilizers, and gimbals. 

Lower the Exposure

Since fireworks are very bright, they can sometimes look overexposed in photos. To avoid that, try dialing back your exposure a little bit. This will darken the photo just enough to make the fireworks look clear and not too bright.

If you’re familiar with photography and recording video and want a more advanced tip, turn down the ISO. Lowering your ISO prevents your photos from looking grainy or overexposed. Most smartphone video cameras don’t allow manual adjustments like a DSLR camera since they have advanced built-in software, but the Camera+ 2 app or Camera FV-5 Lite app lets you alter the ISO, aperture, and more to your liking.

Turn Off the Flash

Even though it’s usually dark outside during a fireworks display, the flash isn’t needed to take good photos of fireworks. If the flash is on, it will mute the details of the fireworks and make your photos look overexposed. The same thing will happen to your smartphone video if the flash is turned on.

Switch to Landscape Mode

When you photograph fireworks, try turning your phone horizontally and shooting photos in Landscape mode. You’ll have a wider view to work with, plus they translate better on TVs and computer monitors.

If All Else Fails… Try Video!

If you’re struggling to get good photos of fireworks, record a high-definition smartphone video of the fireworks instead. Once the show’s over, you can grab photo stills from your video, make a GIF, or post your recording to social media as-is.

No need to be a photography pro or have a DSLR camera to get good shots of the fireworks this Fourth of July. By using our photography and smartphone video tips on your smartphone or tablet, you can share your fireworks photos with pride.

Looking for a new smartphone with a pro-grade camera? Visit your nearest Cellular Sales store to find the one that’s right for you, plus learn more smartphone video tips from our trusted experts.

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