5 tips for Capturing Fourth of July Fireworks using your iPhone

Hot dogs, pool party or the beach and of course, fireworks. You know what this means: it’s 4th of July!!! America the Beautiful is celebrating her birthday with a bang. But capturing the fleeting vision that is fireworks is difficult for anyone (yep, even me with my "fancy camera"). Here are some things to consider while trying to capture the fiery festivities.

fourth of july fireworks banner

1.  Play with exposure

Did you know you can control this on your iPhone camera? You can! It’s way easier than you think. (In fact, you’ve probably done it dozens of times without realizing). You simply hold your finger down on the screen and a yellow square will appear. That’s the signal for adjusting your exposure based on what you are focusing on. Different areas of a scene — whether brightly lit, or in shadow — will mean different levels of exposure. Just move the slider UP to brighten the exposure or DOWN to darken. Extra tip... that same yellow box also tells the camera what to focus on!

Camera exposure setting on iPhone

2.  Turn off the flash

This may seem counter-intuitive but trust me, it will totally help. You want as much of the dark as you can so that all light comes from the fireworks themselves. Your flash will only illuminate things that are about five to ten feet away from you — not up in the sky. Use one for fireworks, and  you’ll end up with an awkwardly grainy photo of some meh looking lights. And you’re better than that.

3.  Take a video

Video is sometimes your best option to capture an amazing photo on your phone. You can select whichever frame you like best, then save it as a single image. Psst... you can also take a photo WHILE you are taking video, just tap the shutter button on your screen!

4.  Burst Mode

This is incredibly easy. Simply hold the capture button down whiles taking a photo and your phone will capture a bunch of images in rapid succession. I discovered this feature entirely by accident, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s a great option for moving objects, so you can capture some great action shots. And your phone will lump all of these shots together rather than having 40 individual photos in your camera roll.

5.  Get Creative

You can shoot more than just the sky. Capture people watching the fireworks with the light illuminating their faces, or use a selfie stick to get more in each frame, or even take a timelapse video of the whole show! The 4th is your oyster to capture as you please. Have fun, be safe and enjoy!

Leonardo di Caprio raising a glass of champagne to july 4th fireworks show

** Bonus Tip **

Make sure you have enough storage on your phone before the fireworks begin. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting the no more storage message of doom right in the middle of an amazing fireworks display. Backup your phone before you go and delete videos - they take up the most space.