Welcoming July and Tips on Fireworks Photography

Welcoming July. The apex of summer and season of several family birthdays, fireworks, lightening bugs and the Thunder Moon.

Lots of opportunities for fireworks photography this coming weekend. Here’s some quick tips:

* A good, sturdy tripod is a must. Fireworks in a night sky can only be effectively captured using long shutter speeds, or time exposures.

* Keep your fingers away from the camera during long exposures by use of a cable release. Another option is to use the shutter release timer on your camera.

* Photographs with just exploding fireworks are fine but try to look for interesting foreground or background elements, such as trees along the bottom portion of the frame, or better yet, a city skyline.

* Use the manual setting on your camera for more creative control of both shutter speed and aperture. Try some test shots before the fireworks begin just to make sure your sky is dark, foreground and background elements are still visible (but not too bright) and you have an aperture setting allowing for enough depth and range of focus area so that the exploding shells and trails of light are not out of focus.

* Watch for distracting elements coming into and through your viewfinder. The most troublesome culprit are power lines. You don’t want anything that will lead the viewer’s eye away from your subject – the fireworks.

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