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The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography

Learn how to take photos of fireworks, check you've got the right kit and find out where some of the best displays are in the UK.

| Sports and Action

The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Fireworks


Here's a round-up of just a small portion of some of the best bonfire night events happening around the UK, plus tips on how to capture the colourful explosions as well as a list of essential kit you'll need. Have a fun and safe Bonfire night!


5 Top Bonfire Night Firework Displays 2016 

Roundhay Park, Leeds – The roundhay park bonfire is one of the biggest and the best in Yorkshire. Set in the vast surroundings of this urban park, there are spectacular fireworks, a huge bonfire and usually, a fairground for the kids. It’ll be busy and could be muddy, so wellies are recommended. Get there early to catch the lighting of the bonfire for some great shots. It is accessible by car, and there are regular buses from Leeds centre to the park.

Lord Mayor’s fireworks, London – This one actually happens after Bonfire night but if you’re looking for something right in the heart of London, then this is your best bet. Watch fireworks as they go off around Big Ben, right next to the Thames. Get there early to secure a prime riverside location. The south bank will be best to see the fireworks in all their glory, against a spectacular backdrop. 

Glasgow Green Fireworks, Scotland – This is the biggest organised fireworks display in Scotland and features some spectacular special effects. There will also be live bands and music, getting you into the spirit of Bonfire night. Taking place on Glasgow Green, this is another very central and easy to reach event.

Penrhos Beach, Holyhead, Anglesea, Wales – If you want something different from your bonfire night and want to get away from it all, why not head over to the Penrhos beach fireworks. There’s something exciting and different about having fireworks on the beach, and the bonfire will be spectacular too. Wrap up warm, though, as it’s always more windy and cold by the sea at this time of year!

Ottery St Mary, Devon – Ottery St Mary’s bonfire night is stooped in tradition, which involves locals carrying flaming barrels through the town and throwing them onto a massive 30ft bonfire. This could lead to some spectacular and unique photos  and will be fun for all the family as there will also be a funfair for the kids. This is definitely one to try if you are looking for something a little different this year.

Of course, there will be smaller local bonfires closer to home if you don’t want to travel, so take a look on your local council website or the list website to find bonfires near you. Most places will have one within walking distance or a small drive away.


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Sparkler


Top Firework Photography Tips You Need To Know 


1. Longer shutter speeds are a must or compact users can use the firework mode found under scene modes. Bulb mode is your friend! 

2. Wider lenses will capture more of the sky and increase your chances of capturing a burst of colour. 

3. Switch to manual focus and turn your focus to infinity. 

4. Set an aperture of f/8 or f/11 to increase depth of field. 

5. Turn off flash. 

6. In Bulb mode, keep the lens covered (a dark piece of card will work) until a burst erupts then remove the card to capture the burst. Replace the card until another burst occurs and continue to do this with however many bursts as you like.

7. No Bulb mode? Use exposure lengths of around 1-4 seconds. 

We actually have quite a few firework photography tutorials that are well worth checking out in more detail and you can take a look at these by clicking the links below. 




Essential Gear For Firework Photography 

As well as your camera and wide-angle lens, there are a few other essentials you'll need for a successful night of firework photography. 


Camera Support

The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : AmazonBasics 67-Inch Monopod


You can't really use longer exposures without some sort of support. Tripods might not be allowed at large events but you should get away with a monopod. Checkout our guide to basic photography essentials where you should be able to pick up a monopod for a rather reasonable price. 



The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Torch


It's going to be dark when you get to your firework display of choice so a torch will be handy for not only lighting your way but for seeing in your camera bag, too. 



The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Gloves


You can now buy gloves that you can use touchscreens with without removing them which means your hands won't get cold. Alternatively, you can purchase specialist gloves that have fold-back finger tips so you can adjust buttons / dials on your camera more easily. Remember to wear them when you're using sparklers, too. 


Wireless Remote

The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Neewer IR Wireless Shutter Release Remote Control for Canon Camera

Keep the shutter open without pressing the camera's shutter button which could result in shake and spoil your shots. 


Awesome Examples Of Firework Photography 

There are some rather cool examples of firework photography in the ePHOTOzine gallery so we thought we'd share a few with you. Do click on each member's name to visit their portfolios and if you have your own firework photos, why not share them with everyone in the gallery


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Whizzbang

Whizzbang by falsecast 


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : If You Are Going To Use Fireworks This Year, Remember, Don't Be A Wally With Them If You Are Going To Use Fireworks This Year, Remember, Don't Be A Wally With Them by cyrilsquirrel


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Fireworks 1 Fireworks 1 by horbie 


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Diamonds In The Sky Diamonds In The Sky by interchelleamateurphotography


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Sky Flowers

 Sky Flowers by  interchelleamateurphotography


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Feather Fireworks Feather Fireworks by creativefocus


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Happy New Year EveryoneHappy New Year Everyone by SunPrints


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : FireworksFireworks by pdunstan_Greymoon


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : kenilworth fireworks 2015 - #12 Kenilworth fireworks 2015 - #12 by AlanRangerPhotography


The Photographer's Guide To Firework Photography : Sydney NYE fireworks Sydney NYE fireworks by Merbert

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WorldInFocus Avatar
4 Nov 2016 10:55AM
A monopod is really not suitable for photographing fireworks, you might be using between a 4 - 10 sec exposure. Any movement in the monopod will result in blurred images. A tripod is the only real option to take good clear firework photography. 88418_1478256863.jpg
falsecast Avatar
falsecast 6 23 United Kingdom
4 Nov 2016 1:46PM
Thanks for featuring my image!

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