It’s easy to take amazing fireworks pictures with the iPhone XR and iPhone XS if you know what settings to use and have access to an essential iPhone accessory that will supercharge your photos.
Even if you don’t have time to get an iPhone tripod to steady your shots you can use these tips and tricks to take incredible fireworks photos with your iPhone
If you own a DSLR or high-end point and shoot you’ll probably have better luck with that camera than the one in your iPhone, but you can still get many amazing fireworks pictures with your iPhone if you don’t have another option.
On the Fourth of July and other at special events in July, you can use these tips to take better-looking fireworks pictures with the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and other iPhones. By taking the photos on your iPhone you can quickly share them on Instagram or Facebook.
You can use these fireworks pictures tips on the iPhone, to take better-looking photos in the dark. If you have a chance, test these iPhone firework picture tips before you are standing or sitting in a crowd trying to take photos of Fireworks.
Take Live Photos of Fireworks
The iPhone can take Live Photos, which combine a short bit of video with photos and sound. It’s a cool and shareable way to take fireworks photos on the iPhone.
You’re probably already taking Live Photos on your iPhone, but you can check this by opening the camera and looking to see if there is a yellow circle in the top bar in portrait or on the left side when in landscape. If it is yellow, you will take Live Photos. You will also see LIVE show up when you take a photo.
When the fireworks start, you can hold the phone as still as possible, push the shutter button and keep holding the phone still for about a second after the photo ends. This will give you a good live photo that can show the firework in motion and exploding.
After you take a Live Photo, go to the Photos app to see it. You can 3D Touch the screen to animate it. If you need to trim it or change the photo to a better moment, you can tap on Edit. Now tap on the bottom edge and you’ll see other photos the iPhone took with one press. Find the best one, tap on it and then tap on Make Key Photo.
You can also add effects to the Live Photos to show off movement in cool ways. Experiment with the Live Photo effects to get a version you think is great and then share it.
Don’t Use the iPhone Flash
When you try to take fireworks pictures on the iPhone, turn off the flash. The flash will ruin your photos and annoy everyone around you. Don’t be the person who is using the iPhone flash to take fireworks pictures in the dark.
Open the iPhone camera app and tap on the flash so that it is inside the international no circle. The flash will not help your iPhone fireworks pictures at all. It’s also a good idea to turn down the brightness of your screen while taking photos in the dark.
Test the iPhone Camera Speed
The iPhone XS and iPhone 8 take pictures faster than older iPhones. If you upgraded to a new iPhone, spend a few minutes figuring out how long it takes from the press of the shutter until the photo is complete.
Once you know this you can time your shutter press to take a photo when the firework is just starting, or at the fullest, instead of catching trails of smoke.
It’s also a handy idea to use the volume down button to take a photo instead of trying to press the on-screen button.
Use the iPhone Burst Mode
The iPhone can capture a burst of photos when you hold the shutter down. As soon as you hear the firework shoot off, you can hold down the shutter and take a burst of photos back to back to back as long as you hold the shutter. The video below walks through how this works.
When you hold the shutter button on-screen or the volume down button the iPhone can take 10 or more photos per second. When you are done taking photos you can see the best photos out of those and then choose to save them.
Shoot iPhone Fireworks Videos
The iPhone can take an excellent video of fireworks and in some cases, this will turn out better than taking a picture. You can shoot a regular video of fireworks without any need to tweak settings, but there are other cool options.
A slow-motion video of Fireworks can slow the explosion to a crawl for dramatic effect and offer something that stands out. A time-lapse video on the iPhone can condense the full fireworks show into a few minutes, sped up to about a minute or two.
Use a Tripod or iPhone Camera Accessory
If you really want your iPhone fireworks pictures to stand out, stop and buy a tripod that includes a way to connect the iPhone.
You can buy a Joby GripTight or similar iPhone tripod or tripod mount at Walmart or Best Buy so that you have it in time for the fourth of July.
Use Your Apple Watch
You can use your Apple Watch to control the shutter on your iPhone. This will let you set your phone on a tripod or prop it up against something so that it is steady. A steady iPhone will help you get better photos.
With the iPhone setup and camera open, find the remote shutter app on your Apple Watch. It looks like a small camera icon. When ready, tap the shutter icon on your Apple Watch and the iPhone will take a picture of the fireworks. Repeat as needed.
Don’t Zoom for iPhone Fireworks Pictures
It is tempting to zoom in closer to the fireworks, but this is a bad idea. Zooming in with the screen on most iPhones is a digital zoom, which essentially means it is just blowing up the image you are seeing instead of actually taking you closer like with a camera with a zoom lens.
In dark settings, this will lead to poor looking photos and a waste of your time. It is better to get closer to the fireworks by walking. Also, keep an eye for nearby lights that can ruin your photos and try to find a spot where people won’t be walking in front of you.
If you have the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max you can zoom in 2X with an optical zoom, which allows you to zoom without losing quality.
You should also avoid using the front-facing camera to take a fireworks selfie, as it is not as good as the one on the back of the iPhone.