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How To Photograph Fireworks Like A Pro

Want to take beautiful, awe-inspiring photographs of fireworks? Of course you do! Amaze your loved ones with dramatic, colourful and spectacular images and have a read of our easy step by step guide to photographing fireworks.

Using A PENTAX Digital Camera To Photograph Fireworks

Be it Guy Fawkes Night, New Year’s Eve or a special occasion, shoot for the moon and aim for clear, dramatic shots with a PENTAX camera. Capture fireworks exploding in all their glory and forget those blurry, under and overexposed images like a bad dream.

  1. Prepare before the event – Whether you’re making do with a compact camera or have a leading brand PENTAX DSLR, any photographer can take a half-decent shot with the right knowledge. What is important however, is how often you experiment with your camera (practise shooting in the dark) and how familiar you are with its settings. Here are some essential accessories you’ll need:
    • Camera – Sorry to state the obvious, but we’re prone to leaving it on the counter at home!
    • Tripod – This will minimise shake when you’re shooting fireworks. The amount of people with cameras at displays WITHOUT a tripod who ask for tips is unbelievable! No matter how much you think you have a steady hand, it isn’t steady enough.
    • Remote shutter release – This will also help you to achieve focused, refined images.
    • Telephoto lens – Great for shooting subjects from a distance.
    • Set up your camera – See step two!
  2. Fine-tuning your settings – You’ll want to do this in advance as the last thing you need is to be fumbling around in the dark whilst firework after firework flies up in the air without you being ready! Things to consider:
    • Aperture & ISO settings (these control your camera’s sensitivity to light): Although you’re shooting at night, which would usually require a higher ISO, your subject is itself light, so you’ll want a low ISO (50 is ideal, but under 200 will do) and a medium to small aperture (about f/8 or f16) to ensure your scene isn’t overexposed.
    • Shutter speed: This is measured in fractions of a second and helps you to control how subjects in motion are captured. A fast shutter speed will freeze-frame fast subjects, whilst a slow shutter speed will soften a moving subject to allow for more blur (this looks beautiful with moving water, for example).
      Although fireworks are fast, a slow shutter speed will enable you to capture those beautiful trails and patterns that fireworks make. With this in mind, make sure you have a long exposure time (from 2 to 10 seconds).

Of course the above are just guidelines. You can experiment with your settings to achieve the results you want.

  1. Take lots of photos & turn off noise reduction! – With a DSLR such as a PENTAX camera you can take as many shots as you like, so take advantage of that and make sure you take lots of images! Remember you’ll be able to capture more pictures in a shorter time period if you switch off noise reduction.
  2. Shoot upwind – This way you’ll avoid the smoke from the fireworks that will obstruct your subject and get a clear image. Your position is incredibly important. Whilst fireworks are beautiful, they can be rather boring too, so consider adding interest (and making your photos stand out) by getting something else in the scene (for instance, spectators in the foreground).

Shop PENTAX Cameras At SRS

Don’t wait a minute longer to begin taking spectacular photographs! Browse our wide range of professional PENTAX cameras and lenses for purchase here at SRS. If you’re unsure, why not take advantage of our affordable hire service?

If you would like more information about our products don’t hesitate to call us on 01923 226602 or email You can also check out our other blog posts for more expert tips!

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