Tips for taking photos of fireworks with your smartphone

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Later tonight, people across the country will be watching fireworks explode in the sky. Armed with smartphones, we will all extend our arms in the air and attempt to take a photo of the beautiful explosion that draws “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd.

And then we will look at our phone in disappointment when we see a dark, blurry barrage of colors.

If you want to properly take photos of fireworks, you will need a DSLR camera that allows you to change shutter speeds and adjust your camera settings to capture the perfect photo. If your only camera is your phone, here are some quick tips to capture the best photos:

Find a good spot

Get there early. Before you worry about your camera, you will want to make sure you have an unobstructed view. Landmarks and buildings make great foregrounds and backgrounds for photos, so consider this when choosing a spot.

Turn off your flash

Your flash will do nothing for fireworks. Turn it off.

Stabilize the camera

What is the key to a great photo? A tripod. Camera shake will ruin the best photos. However, it’s not easy to put your phone on a tripod. So, find a way to stabilize your camera when taking photos. You can do this by using a wall, placing the camera on a chair, etc.

Some useful apps

Slow shutter cam app – App offers similar features you would see on DSLR and lets you manipulate shutter speed.

Others: Lightbomber for iOS, CameraPro for Windows Phone, and Night Camera for Android

Take several photos – you may get a few good ones

Make sure you have plenty of space on your phone and take as many photos as possible. You may get a few good ones out of the group. You can also download the Fast Camera app, which allows you to take up to 800 photos a minute.

Get the Fast Camera app

The Fast Camera app will let your camera take up to 800 photos per minute. You can take multiple shots fast, so you wont have to wait between exposures like you would in the normal camera app.

Add effects, filters later

While you’re taking photos, focus on getting a good angle and taking as many photos as possible. Add filters and effects later.

With all this said, don’t miss out

Unless you’re a professional, your photos will never look as good as they do in person. If you’re feeling frustrated, put down the phone and enjoy the show.