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A thrilling fireworks display can confuse a modern camera’s automated settings. The explosions are fast, dynamic, and bright, and they disappear just as quickly as they appear. But by tweaking a few manual settings on whatever camera you’re using, you can take advantage of some battle-tested methods for capturing dramatic photos of those explosions in the sky. Even if you’re using a smartphone, there are a few apps and quick tips that will help you nab the best shots.
Scout Your Location
If you can visit the location of the fireworks show ahead of time, it’ll help you gauge the best angles for your photos. You obviously want a clear shot of the sky, and a nice wide-angle view of the skyline should do wonders for your shot composition.
But you won’t be able to predict the crowds, so make sure you scout out a couple of backup, super-secret locations too. There’s another thing you won’t be able to predict ahead of time: The wind. If it’s blowing towards you from the direction of the fireworks, you may end up with increasingly murky photos as the show goes on. If that’s the case, try to get as many good shots early on as possible. If the wind’s at your back, you’ll have great shooting conditions during the whole display.
The early part of the display is crucial: It’ll let you frame the entire show and take a few test shots to make sure your settings are