8 Tips for Taking Awesome Photos of Fireworks with Your Smartphone
This is the season of fireworks ~ whether it be to celebrate a holiday or your favorite team winning a ball game it seems they are everywhere and I love it! Ever since I was a little girl I have been a huge fan of them. A few years ago my husband and I tried to capture some pictures of fireworks while across the street from our house ~ our local park is almost literally right in our back yard so we have an extremely good view of them...but...we were very ill prepared. I didn't look up any info on proper camera settings, etc., so the pictures were...um....just okay..but this year we are ready and here are some of my favorite tips for using your smartphone camera to do the job.
Get familiar with the settings that are standard with your smartphone camera. I love my smartphone (the Motorola Droid Turbo) and while the camera itself is amazing it doesn't have all of the settings I was looking for so I downloaded an app to compliment my camera. I use the Camera FV-5 which is a paid app ~ $3.95 ~ but there is also a free version with less features.
*some of the features mentioned below may or may not be available for your particular smartphone camera
1. Use a tripod! Unless you can stand absolutely perfectly still a tripod will be necessary because you will need to set your shutter open long enough to capture light.
2. Turn off your flash and deactivate HDR mode. Check your phones default camera app and if there is a night mode or a fireworks mode enable that.
3. Before the fireworks start, set your ISO to a low value - 100 or 200 (400 MAX)~ and focus at an object that will be in roughly the same area as the fireworks will be ~ you want to be as prepared in advance as possible.
4. Do no use the digital zoom ~ using the digital zoom will degrade the photos and when you view them on your computer the quality will be poor.
5. Turn the stabilizer feature on.
6. Set the resolution to the highest possible resolution. This will result in bigger files but will be worth it.
7. Set the white balance to tungsten light.
8. Use the burst mode ~ this will take a series of shots quickly and allow you to pick the cream of the crop afterward.
Will you be taking photos of fireworks this summer? If you do and these tips have helped you I would love to hear from you!