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Regardless of where in the United States you might be, when the fireworks explode over the skies, you can bet that around you, there will be a see of onlookers, cooing in amazement with their iPhones in hand. 

Of course, fireworks are one of the hardest things to actually photograph — especially if you don’t have your camera dialed in with the right settings.

Because it’s such a challenger, we asked resident lighting expert John Cornicello to show us how to photograph fireworks in action. Check out his shooting tips along with his guide to post-processing in the clip below

Quick Exposure Settings:

  • ISO 100
  • f/16
  • Bulb Exposure * Varying the shutter speed will affect the length of the sparks.

Rather than film after dark, John recreated a fireworks show with some sparklers and our dimly lit studio. Sparklers burn a little brighter than traditional fireworks, so John had to bump his settings from his standard choice of f/16 to f/32 to make up the difference, but the resulting photographs are fantastic — and the tips remain essentially the same.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day! And if you want to know more about mastering photography in low light settings, check out our Night Photography Class Pack.