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You asked about … photographing fireworks with a point & shoot camera

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

July 11, 2009


I received a fantastic photography question from a reader:

“By any chance do you have any photography tips for people without DSLRs? For example, how would a person with a point and shoot get a semi-decent fireworks shot? A little late but it bugs me every year.”

This is a very fair question. Most of the tutorials on fireworks photography detail the best manual settings – and not all cameras have the ability (though more and more do!). Here are a few tips to maximize your success:

Use a tripod – When taking photos as night, even the lightest hand shake will produce blurry photos. Use a regular or portable tripod. Almost every camera has a tripod adapter on the bottom! If yours doesn’t, get creative to find an alternate way to stabilize your camera.

Use the timer – For the same reason as above, you want to avoid touching the camera. However, many point & shoots don’t have the ability to connect to a shutter remote. As an alternative, you can use the timer function to take a hands-free shot. Try it in burst mode that takes 3 shots in a row – to ensure you get the shot.

Use landscape mode -  The landscape mode will help your camera focus and the low light will automatically decrease the shutter speed. You might try the night mode too.

Look for “fireworks” setting– Some cameras have a mode especially for fireworks. Dig out that manual and see if this is an option on your camera. It may be a hidden setting!

Make manual adjustments – More and more point & shoot cameras do have the ability to leave fully automatic mode. If you can do this, you’ll want to set it to the lowest ISO (to reduce noise), to focus on infinity, and an f/stop of f/8 – f/16. You can vary the shutter speed to capture multiple bursts and light trails.

Here are four references for further reading. All address using a point & shoot for photographing fireworks.

In the future, Simple Scrapper will work harder to balance tips for DSLR and P&S photography! Thanks for your question.

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