top of page

Tricks to setting up for fireworks photography

How to Photograph Fireworks



TIPS & TRICKS... me !

What is the best camera ?

DSLR, Mirrorless, Bridge, Compact expert.... anyway ! 

Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Sony... we did not care !

All you need is a camera that can be set to Manual mode, and to follow the next tips and tricks !

Fireworks photographer at Ithra
Fireworks photographer in France

What is the best camera setting for fireworks?

Set the camera to a low ISO, such as 100. A good starting point for aperture around f/8.


Set the camera to Bulb mode (B) which allows you to keep the shutter open as long as you want.

How long can you be exposed to fireworks?

You shall use a slow exposure time, anywhere between 1 – 15 seconds in order to capture the light trails.


Longer the exposure will be,  more fireworks lines will appear.

You can use also Hoya ProND filter to extend your exposure time. Try & experiment !

Frederic Lepla BLANC.png

How do you focus on fireworks?

Your camera's autofocus will allways hesitate to focus !


Switch your camera to Manual Focus.

Set the focus manually to infinity.

How do you take pictures hands free?

Well.... I strongly recommend to use a tripod... or even put your camera on a sturdy surface.


How do you take a picture without pressing the button?

Buy a cheap remote to your local dealer or on your online store. Plug you remote to your camear and use it !

With a remote  plugged on your camera you will avoid any shake on the camera body.

Fash or not flash ?

No flash... that's it !

Ensure to switch off these useless camera features.


Tripod or Tripod ?

To be clear: Yes, use a tripod !

Avoid cheap model and invest in a sturdy model

Plan your shot and anticipate the best framing

Anticipate your shot in order to get the best framing available.

Try to incorporate a building / statue in your frame in order to give the scale of your shot !


What is the best focal length ?

To be simple: the best lens is the lens you already own !

If you are not wide enough... move your tripod further away from the fireworks. Unzoom with your feets !

Which is the best ISO setting ?

Shooting at a low ISO is preferable to ensure the cleanest and better shots possible. Stick to ISO 100 and you should be fine !


Check the wind direction

Find out the wind direction and avoid the wind on your face if possible: smoke and debris might flow on you and on your camera.

ND Filters

I love using it ! ND filters will help me to increase the exposure time without going to a very closed aperture.

ND filters will help me to avoid aperture which create diffraction 


Straighten the horizon !

Make sure to straighten the horizon as well when including  elements.

Lastly, consider both horizontal and vertical framings for your shot. While a horizontal shot often works great, a vertical shot could be necessary.

Or break the rule...

Turn OFF long exposure noise reduction

If these settings are ON, you will not be able to take a new photography directly after having completed the first one. Your camera will still be working on the first picture.

An 20sec picture will create a another 20sec busy period of time where nothing else can be perform on the camera.

Fireworks photographer at Ithra

How to creaty a Beauty shot?

Most beautiful pictures can be done at the beginning of the show. There will be less smoke/haze.

bottom of page