With fireworks season rapidly approaching, I thought I would share some of my ideas for capturing an impressive fireworks burst. Contrary to what may you be thinking, you will need a long exposure rather than a short exposure to best capture the explosion and it’s trails.  Let’s review some basics: First, your camera must have a manual setting. In most photography situations, you want to be in control of your camera. That means you must move away from the “point and shoot” mentality. Second, night photography requires the shutter to be open longer. And that will require you to manually control the duration of the exposure. My shutter speed for these fireworks images was 4 seconds. Of course if you are going to have an extended shutter speed (4 seconds) your camera must be mounted onto a well stabilized tripod. This will eliminate any possibility of camera shake. If you do not have a remote shutter release, just set your timer to engage the shutter at 2 seconds. This will also eliminate any camera shake from manually activating the shutter. Next we’ll talk about focusing on the burst. You will soon realize that your camera will not automatically focus on a dark sky. This is an easy fix. If you have an auto focus lens, you will need to disengage that feature. Simply turn it off. Then manually set your lens focus to infinity. Since the fireworks are so far away, this will place everything in perfect focus. Finally, shoot at a low ISO setting to reduce noise. I have used ISO 100 on all of these images. If you’re lucky and live close to Disneyland, you can practice your fireworks photography almost any night. I just grab my gear, head over to the free parking lot at Downtown Disney, and set up. Within a few minutes, I am shooting away. Night photography is always rewarding. So, go out there and give it a try. These steps also work well with city lights at night. Look for a future post with some help in that area.

I hope you will consider following my blog to receive regular photography tips.  Also, you can jump over to my Facebook page and like that page to receive even more photography information.

Some of my Disneyland images:





~ by photographyfree4all on May 8, 2017.


  1. Bring on summer!


  2. I agree, Car54!! Thanks.


  3. Excellent Work. All the Pictures are so good to watch. And As an Photographer i can understand how much important it is to capture perfect pictures specially fireworks and present them creatively. It’s a Difficult task. Appreciate your hard work and efforts.. Even i always try to capture Pictures like these but i am not that perfect like you. Have a look at my work at and let me know how you find it. I would love to hear from photographer like you. Thanks You


  4. Thank you for stopping by, Nitin. My advice – keep shooting. I enjoyed your images.


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