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Learn how to photograph fireworks and make them amazing in Photoshop in just 5 minutes!

Watch How to Photograph Fireworks on YouTube

Fireworks!!  Everyone wants to capture the amazing light we know as fireworks or sparklers.  Here were my settings last year:

How To Photograph Fireworks

Aperture: F/22
ISO: 400
Shutter: 4/sec
Focus: Infinity
Lens: I used a 14-24mm lens, but your setting could be different.  I was very close to the action!
Other Gear: Tripod is required and remote release if you have one.

Once your exposure is set its all about the timing.  Do you want more fireworks to be in the frame or less?  Is there a really nice cityscape to go along with your fireworks?  Take all that into consideration...that can make your fireworks photos really dynamic.  My area doesn't really have any nice cityscapes but I might search for some this year.

Second part of this video I comp'd a few photos together in Photoshop.  It was super easy and only took a few minutes.  Resizing the photos will make the end result more dynamic with a 3D effect.

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+1 # Kevin Atwell 2011-06-30 08:53
Thank you, Very helpfull info.
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+1 # Michel from Sweden 2011-06-30 09:24
Nice video.
I 'm definitelly gonna try the screen stuff.
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+1 # dalibor 2011-06-30 09:48
Thanks for the video and tips Greg, they are very useful and helpful.
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0 # Gary Thursby 2011-06-30 10:10
Just love firework pics, they are so cool! You know big G my d300s lets me shoot multiple exposures in camera. A total of 9 frames you can do. Do you think this would be a good alternative to photoshop? Oh they would be raw shots so the final shot would be one huge raw file! Oh lastly thanks for convincing me to shoot raw format. I can see the beauty of it because I got some great weather in Yosemite and shot raw and Jpeg fine. Some of the Jpegs were only like 3 to 4 mb because of all the dark rain clouds and fog. So glad I have the raw file because I do not get to travel there alot and would really suck to only have a 4 mb Jpeg to edit a once in a lifetime shot.
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+1 # Clair Matthews 2011-07-01 09:17
Thank you Greg..Very helpful x
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0 # Gary Beller 2011-07-06 10:15
I haven't photoshopped any of these shots to have multiple bursts in one image. Did some cropping in iPhoto because they organizers moved where they were shooting them from the barge in the river here in Portland Oregon. Ended up having trees in my view instead of the nice bridge. Oh well still worth the practice. Thanks for your tips Greg. This was a lot of fun. Used the inexpensive wireless release on the D7000 with a kit lens set to about 24mm
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0 # Gary Beller 2011-07-06 10:16
Here is the link.
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0 # Gary Beller 2011-07-06 11:50
Here is the Flickr stream...
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0 # Jim 2011-07-07 18:40
Greg thanks for the suggestions. My pics turned out better this year. Still room for improvement but better.
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0 # Don VJ 2011-07-10 16:32
Great Information.

I shot these on a Canon 60D with 18-135mm kit lense.
F13 - F16 ISO 100 18mm Shutter = Bulb
Stabilization Off tripod wireless remote.
And an old black mouse pad to act as a shutter block to create multiple exposures.
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0 # Don VJ 2011-07-10 16:44
Follow up comment: I did crop some of my photos because I was so close to the fireworks launch point.
Some lower bursts were in the center of the shot, leaving the entire top half empty, and some were way up there.
So I cropped to kill the dead space on the lower bursts.

The mouse pad shutter block is because my Canon doesn't shoot multiple exposures..LOL. So you improvise.

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0 # Lance 2011-07-15 09:19
Here is my shot, sorry so late, I have been all over the place since July 4th.

taken with my 10-17 fisheye. f8 ISO200 and 3 seconds.
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0 # Brandon 2011-07-17 22:23
Loved the vid + article. I listened to some of your advice and got some good pictures. My favorite (posted) is a close-up at 100mm.

Keep up the great work, i'm loving
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0 # melvin 2012-07-05 22:50
Hey Greg, great video except that the last part is not too clear. I am using photoshop CS2 to combine my fireworks photo.
It allows me to combine only 2 and I am not able to move them around like you did.
Is this peculiar to CS2 or am I doing something wrong?
Also does all the photos have to be the same size?
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0 # Gregory Cazillo 2012-07-10 15:39
I think one of your layers are a background layer which would prevent you from moving it. Double click the background layer to make it a regular layer.
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0 # melvin 2012-07-05 22:58

These are my pictures
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0 # Yve LeRoy 2013-02-21 11:32
Excellent tut,love the simplicity of only selecting the fireworks.Got one prob though,I tried it with two pics of fireworks with slightly different color skies,two different shades of dark blue skies.Does this technique only work with black and or identical backgrounds? Also noticed that you had different layers or masks or whatever up in your photoshop,is there something else I have to do to set this up before combining shots?thanks again.
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