After a food bribe to my super, I was able to gain access to my building’s roof for the famous Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks. After a five-year-long hiatus, the show returned to the East River where I was able to get an up close and personal view of the spectacle.
It’s probably a day too late, but here are some firework photo tips (I guess New Year’s isn’t that far away):
- Get Started Early: Photographing near the start of the show helps avoid the smoke and haze that builds up through the night.
- Long Exposures: Exposures of 2-10 seconds capture the amazing light streaks of the fireworks and take the guessing out of when to press the shutter. Make sure to use a tripod!
- Pre-Focus the Lens: Before the sun sets, use the available light to focus the lens and then lock it in for nighttime.
- Photograph Facing East: The darker sky to the east makes the fireworks pop even more.
- Stack Multiple Photos: If you’re photographing from the same spot, using a tripod, you can always stack the fireworks photos on top of each other in post-processing for a more dramatic final result.
Happy Independence Day!