Do you always envy those perfect shots of fireworks? Believe it or not, your iPhone is capable of capturing some pretty amazing pictures if you know what to do. Follow these 3 easy tips to get perfect iPhone fireworks photos and make all your Instagram followers jealous.
1. Turn off the flash
In the dark your phone will try to use the flash to illuminate the surroundings. Unfortunately, trying to use flash on the night sky won’t help your photos at all. Turn the Auto-Flash off and force your camera to get better shots without it. The focus should be on the bright fireworks, not your LED flash.
2. Keep it steady
In low light, camera shake is your enemy. If you want to avoid blurry iPhone fireworks shots you’ll need to find a way to keep your camera steady. If you have a tripod – use it. You can buy an attachment for a tripod or there are some tripods designed for specifically for iPhones. Either way, a tripod is the best way to reduce camera shake.
Try the elbows in technique
If you don’t have a tripod, don’t worry – you’re not completely out of luck. Try one of these tips to reduce camera shake without a tripod, like the “elbows in” technique.
When you go to snap the photo, use the volume buttons on the side of your phone, or try using the Burst mode to take multiple shots at once. This will also help to reduce the amount of shake in your photos.
3. Use a camera app for fine-tuned control
You should be able to manage a decent firework shot with the above tips – but if you want to take it to the next level, it’s time to go manual. As of iOS 8, Apple opened up the Camera API to allow for more fine-tuned control of the camera settings in third-party apps.
Shutter – manual camera (Free)
Let’s start with the cheap option because everyone loves a free app. Shutter looks a lot like the basic Camera app, but adds in the features we’re looking for. Just swipe down to reveal the ISO and shutter speed options.
Manual was one of the first apps to take advantage of the new camera controls. Using the app, you can finely control shutter speed, ISO, focus, and more – all the controls that aren’t available in the built-in camera app.
Slow Shutter Cam ($2.79)
Just as the name suggests, Slow Shutter Cam is all about slowing down the shutter speed to create some interesting effects. Drag the sliders to adjust the light sensitivity and shutter speed. Once you have the desired effect, simply snap your photo.
What settings should you use?
While there isn’t an exact science for the settings, we’d recommend using a long shutter speed and low ISO to capture the full effect of a firework (this works best if you have a tripod). Try out a few different settings to see what works best.
Steady Camera + Long Shutter Speed + Low ISO = ?
By having your settings fine-tuned and locked in, your iPhone will be ready to take the perfect shot when the fireworks start bursting. And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the show!