Shortly after finalizing the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote that Independence Day "ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
While you're out celebrating the founding of our fine nation, it's easy to snap snazzy photos of those "bonfires and illuminations."
There's no great secret-most cameras, even smartphones, can capture decent photos of fireworks. But if you want to squeeze a little bit of extra sparkle out of your skyrocket snapshots, take a few simple steps.
Hold the Camera Steady - Brace it against a table or on your knee, or lean against a pole or wall while you shoot, or even better, use a tripod. As bright as the trails and sparkles are, you're still taking a photo in dim lighting, and motion blur can be a problem.
Use a Slow Shutter Speed - Want dramatic trails? Slow down the shutter. Interchangeable lens cameras and advanced compacts have manually adjustable shutter speeds. Set the camera to shutter priority mode, pick your desired shutter speed (start with something around a half-second, and experiment from there), and let the camera select the proper ISO and aperture settings for you.
Cheaper compacts usually have scene modes that decrease the shutter speed a bit-look for settings with the word "night" in them. And if you're using a smartphone, download an app that lets you set (or simulate) a slow shutter speed, like Top Camera for iPhone or Camera FV-5 for Android.
Written By: Reviewed.com Staff