How to take great photos of fireworks on July 4th with your phone


How to take great photos of fireworks on July 4th with your phone

Fireworks are an integral part of the Fourth of July celebrations. If you’ve always loved taking photos of fireworks but weren’t satisfied with the result, you’re not alone. Taking great photos of fireworks isn’t that easy, but with a few simple tricks you can capture some amazing shots. There are also some general tips to keep in mind.

Don’t forget to think of the foreground of the shot, which is in front of the fireworks, to give context and make your shots look unique. The vantage point from which you take your photos should also allow for an unobstructed view of the fireworks. Also pay attention to the wind direction, otherwise the recordings will smoke and make them look dull.

How to take great fireworks photos

Before the fireworks start, prepare yourself by placing your Samsung phone on a tripod for the best composition. I also recommend taking a few shots before the fireworks start so you can escape the smoke from the fireworks overshadowing your photo. This way your base exposure will be clean.

For base exposure, don’t be afraid to experiment with each mode on your camera. You may be surprised that the simple night mode is enough for an amazingly clean shot. The Camera Pro mode and the Expert RAW app are also suitable for obtaining this basic exposure.

When you’re happy with your base shot and think you’ve got your perfect night shot, get ready to snap lots of fireworks shots. The more shots you take, the more options you have to edit. Here’s the base shot I’m working with:

The best way to capture fireworks is to keep your camera steady, any camera shake will ruin your shot.

There are a few ways to snap a shot and keep the phone steady.

  • Store your phone on a tripod
  • If you have a Samsung phone compatible with the S Pen, use it as a remote control to take a photo
  • Any other Samsung phone lets you use wired headphones to trigger your camera
  • You can also set a 2 second timer, this way you can take a photo with your finger but avoid shaking when you touch the phone’s screen

The settings that have always worked best for me are:

  • Use Camera Pro mode
  • Set the shutter speed to 1 second exposure
  • Lock focus for consistent shots

I make sure to point my phone in the direction the fireworks are going off and take as many photos as I need to have a variety of firework shots to work with. When all the shots are taken I sort them and select the best shots, we don’t need much to create a great picture.

I then transfer the base shot we took earlier and the fireworks photos that I want to use on my Galaxy Tab S8. You can also do all of this on your phone by following the exact same steps. Start editing the base shot in the Lightroom mobile app (download from the Play Store).

Then edit the fireworks photos and drag the black slider all the way back so most of the shot is just the fireworks. This also makes the merging process easier. Once that’s done, follow these steps:

  • Open the base shot in Adobe Photoshop Mix (Download from Play Store)
  • Import the captured fireworks as a second layer and position your fireworks where it started
  • Select “Cut out”, set the brush to “Subtract” and erase everything except the fireworks. Make sure the fireworks are on the top layer and that this is the selected layer.
  • Then select “Lighten”, this blending mode only shows the fireworks and hides everything else

You can repeat the same process and import as many fireworks footage as you want. Remember, you don’t have to overdo it for a great merged final shot. That’s all there is to it. The final blended shot will be one of the best fireworks photos you’ve ever captured with your phone!

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