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Tips & Tricks

How to Photograph Fireworks on New Year’s Eve

By Hanssie on December 30th 2015

As we gear up to bid adieu to 2015, many of us have already made our New Year’s Eve plans. If those plans involve anything other than you curled up in your pajamas with your cat watching Netflix, you’ll probably encounter some fireworks. And if you’re a photographer (which, if you are reading this site, I assume you are), you’ll have your camera ready to capture some of the revelry and light shows to commemorate the new year.


Photographing fireworks can be tricky. Aside from the fact that some of you may have consumed a few cocktails beforehand, it’s cold, it’s dark, and the objects you are shooting are fast streaks of falling light.The Nikon Europe video below has a quick few tips that can help you photograph fireworks. Photographer Neil Freeman tells us how. Since it’s a Nikon video, the gear they use is, of course, Nikon, but the tips are not camera specific.

Using a tripod, you will set the camera on its lowest ISO setting. You’ll shoot in shutter priority and bracket a few shutter speeds. That’s basically the bulk of the 1:22-minute video. For more tips, check out our article on getting amazing firework photos: 5 SIMPLE TIPS FOR TAKING AMAZING FIREWORKS PHOTOS.

If you do go and try some of these techniques tomorrow night, please share some of your images in our Community Group here. Stay safe and warm!

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    Tripod is a must! He did mention about using shutter priority and that is was I did for Fourth of July fireworks; however, I set my shutter speed to 30 seconds and put my baseball cap in front of the lens between bursts. When I thought I had enough bursts, I’d cancel the exposure.

    Okay, when I took my Fourth of July fireworks photos, I used a tripod; but I was not on solid ground. I was on a pontoon boat on a lake and as such, the boat moved with the wind and waves. He did not mention the use of a self timer or a remote release to trigger the photo. I used a self timer of 10 seconds. I also used ISO 400 film.

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  2. Richard Olender

    I don’t know if bracketing is worth it. Everything will change between shots, but it wont hurt to try

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  3. Andy & Amii Kauth

    Solid tips (+ a quick vid) for the win! And the article by Leujay Cruz is really nice as well!

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  4. Fisnik Islami

    they will look better when you shot with high iso

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  5. Joseph Ford

    Simple tip, I would have never considered to bracket the shots. Must give that a try.

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