Ever get caught within range of fireworks or a busy district area with tons of lights and can’t seem to get the perfect shot? Here’s a few tips for handling fireworks or any kind of low-light photography with or without a tripod.

For tripod users, photography is THAT much easier. Crisper, cleaner shots etc etc – but for those that are traveling, a tripod is the last thing you’d want to carry around. I’ve seen places offer lightweight all-purpose mini tripods for travelers but even still, it’s just another thing to carry.

If you have a tripod handy:

  • Set your ISO to 800
  • Set it to “Fireworks” setting if possible
  • If you don’t have a “Fireworks” setting – set it to “Night Shot”

If you don’t have a tripod handy:

  • Set your ISO to 1600, while this increases “noise” in photos, you can clean it up a bit using a photo-editing software like Adobe Photoshop.
  • Use a nearby platform (your friend’s shoulder count if he/she is sitting down) or maybe a table or rock nearby to stabilize.
  • If no platforms are within range, use your hip to rest your elbow on – and exhale slowly while firing the shot. It’s supposedly when the body is most stable.
  • Set it to “Fireworks” setting if possible
  • If you don’t have a “Fireworks” setting – set it to “Night Shot”

And when boredom strikes – try leaving the shutter open for a few seconds and do some light graffiti! (Tripod or something equivalent required – some handheld cameras do not offer this option, please consult your product manual.)

That should be it! Did I miss anything? What’s your technique in handling low-light photography obstacles?

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