Photographing Fireworks: Equipment Essentials

Posted by: on Jun 02, 2013

Photographing Fireworks: Equipment Essentials
Photo courtesy of ©Shanna Forlano

Independence Day. Only one month to go and the sky will be lit up with some of the most amazing 4th of July fireworks displays. This is a perfect opportunity to capture amazing photography.

The biggest question is, what kind of equipment will you need? Here’s a list for reference.

Tripod & Remote Shutter Release

These two products go hand-in-hand when photographing anything with a slow shutter speed. Your tripod will help keep your camera steady and ensure you have it level to the horizon.

The remote shutter release will also assist in camera stability and steadiness during the shoot. This will allow your camera to remain completely still while just pressing a button that is linked to it. These come available in wired or wireless options. 

While setting up your tripod, start scoping out your location. Make sure you are properly framing your shot to capture the landscape as well as fireworks. If you want to capture the fireworks combined with the city or landscape, make sure you set up where people are not around. Ask the committee responsible for the show about the direction of the fireworks presentation so you can capture the best angle.

Before the fireworks begin, test out your remote shutter release and camera settings. The fireworks will be your subject, so make sure your camera settings, and remote shutter release and angle are positioned properly to capture a stellar photo.

StrapMoore & JerkStopper

Photo courtesy of ©Erik Valind

Since you will have your remote shutter release plugged into your camera, you want to make sure you keep your camera ports safe. Using the StrapMoore to hold your shutter release and your JerkStopper Camera Support to secure the connection is a winning combination of products.

If you don’t want to hold your shutter release, just attach your StrapMoore to the leg of your tripod, wrap it around your remote shutter release, and press the trigger button when you want to take that shot.

Tips from a Pro: Rob Whitworth


We had the opportunity to contact photographer and videographer Rob Whitworth who was featured on PetaPixel for his amazing time-lapse videos. Recently, he was commissioned by Global 2000 to capture the world’s ‘biggest and best’ firework contests. Even though he specializes in cityscape time-lapse videos, all of the same rules apply.

  • Do something different and get all the shots from various angles.
  • Meticulously plan your location(s).
  • Stick to it – try not to get lost in the beautiful fireworks, but remember to capture them.