How to do Fireworks Photography on a Mobile Phone

Fireworks Photography on a Mobile Phone

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July 3, 2019

It is hard to capture good fireworks photography on a mobile phone. Often, images turn out blurry and dull leaving a fun summer holiday without any images. You can take better pictures this summer and capture the celebration by taking great photos of fireworks on your mobile phone. You may feel overwhelmed at taking a picture in the dark not to mention trying fireworks. We will walk you through three trendy ways that people are using fireworks in photos.

The first is using smoke bombs to create color and mystery to an image. Second is using sparklers to create fun designs and words. Lastly, there are tips on how to take better firework show photography. This blog will tell you of the latest gear, trends, and tips for taking fireworks photography. Don’t hesitate to read this simple step by step guide to taking better photos.

Click Here to Learn How to Take Night Photos on an iPhone and Android

Fireworks Photography Cell Phone

Tips for Stunning Fireworks Photography on a Mobile Phone

Smoke Bomb Firework Tips

Do you want to add a blast of color to your photos? Smoke bombs will make your photos pop. If you have been looking around Instagram you may have seen smoke photography. Smoke photography has become popular lately. Smoke can help you to add a colorful effect or a mood in the picture. Try some of these smoke bomb and fireworks photography tricks to create striking effects on a mobile phone.

What will I need?

Smoke Bombs

All you need is your smartphone, an impressive location, and a smoke bomb. There are many options for purchasing smoke bombs. If it is firework season, you can go to your local firework tent and test out any of the smoke bombs. They have cheap ones for a few dollars that last for 30 seconds and are not as strong. If you want a professional grade smoke with vibrant color, check out the Enola Gaye WP40 Smoke Grenade. These last for about 90 seconds and are the longest lasting and safest product for smoke photography. They cost about $11 for a stick. For safety please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines.

Smoke Bomb Photography

Prevent Camera Shake With a Tripod

When learning how to take smoke or firework photography you’ll need to invest in a tripod. Phones are taking better night photography but still, it is easy to get a blurry picture. A tripod will help you to be able to take long exposure shots. This will stabilize your images for crisper shots.

Here are a few things to look for when buying a tripod. First, is the size. With mobile photography size matters, the smaller the better. Joby makes a small tripod for your smartphone that is 7 inches long and can fit into any bag or purse. The GorillaPod comes with adjustable legs that balance on rocks or can wrap around a tree.

Next, look for a sturdy tripod. When taking pictures outside something sturdy is important for balance. A cell phone could tip over and get scratched. The Manfrotto Pixi is one of the best small tripods.

Manfrotto Pixi Mobile Tripod Front

What is the Best Location to Shoot?

Choosing the perfect location to shoot depends on the style of the photo. Some of the best options are industrial, urban, and nature. Industrial places include locations with minimal color, steal or metal, cement, and lines. These can be a parking lot or outside a warehouse. Urban locations consist of images from around the city. Old buildings, wall murals, and vibrant city art can create a great variation with the colored smoke in the photo. Taking nature photos with smoke can create a feeling of mystery and awe. Forests, trees, and water can create a spectacular backdrop.

Tips for Taking Smoke Bomb Photos on a Phone

When taking photography of fireworks on a mobile phone, it will take some time to prepare the shot before you shoot. If you have a model advise give them some recommendations on how to move. Advise them to hold the smoke bomb away from them in case sparks fly. Before it starts to take a few test shots to see if the background and lighting will work well.

Fireworks Photography Smarpthone

Decrease Exposure

If you take the photo in the middle of the day, you may have harsh shadows and the light is too bright. This may mean that you will need to decrease exposure. Often times, when taking pictures in low light street light or other lights can leave a glare. By lowering the exposure compensation you can create a clear image.
To lower the exposure compensation. Tap on the focus button and then on the light bulb or sun and decrease the exposure. It will make the image dark and will bring out the highlights

Burst Mode

With Smoke bomb photography there is so little time to shoot and if you just take one shot after another you may miss great shots. Shoot in burst mode to get instantaneous shots. To shoot in burst mode, hold down your camera button for 1-3 seconds. As you hold down a number of shots will be taken. You can take many shots and then go into edit to choose the best one.

Fireworks Photography Smartphone

Sparklers Fireworks Photography

How do you take a good sparkler photo with the simplicity of a smartphone? Taking sparkler images are challenging and here are some quick tips to help take great firework photos with your phone.

Things You Need


  • You can get these at your local firework tent or online at superior creations


Long Shutter App

When to shoot?

The best time to get started taking firework photos with your phone is at dusk as the sun is setting. This leaves enough light so you can get the subject, background, and the glow of the sparkler. If it is still too light you can decrease the exposure on your phone to make it look as if it is dark.

Sparkler Fireworks Photography Smartphone

How to take great firework photos of sparklers with a smartphone?

  • The first step is to stabilize your shot with a tripod. When taking long exposure any camera movement will make the image blurry.
  • Turn off the flash
  • If shooting in manual mode or using an app keep the ISO low
  • Open the app listed above and set the settings

Pro Tips:

  • Shoot in landscape mode
  • Remember to write words backwards
  • Decrease the exposure if there is too much light in the background
  • Set the long exposure between 15-45 seconds depending on the shot

Cell Phone Fireworks Photography

Taking Smartphone Pictures at a Firework Show

Firework shows bring magic and awe to summer celebrations. You may want to capture the memory but find that your pictures don’t turn out great. Here are some suggestions on how to take better photos at a firework show on your smartphone.

  • Decrease exposure if the sky is too light or there are other distractions
  • Use a tripod to steady the camera
  • Lock the focus with the AE/AF Lock
  • Turn off the flash
  • Use Burst Mode

Mobile Phone Fireworks Photography


With these tips and tricks, you will be able to tackle any of the many celebrations this 4th of July and summer. To review what we talked about in this blog, here are some tips for smoke, sparkler, and firework photography with a smartphone.

When taking photos use smoke bombs take the time to plan the photo because a smoke bomb only lasts about a minute. With sparkler, photography remember to use a long exposure app and place your phone on a tripod. It may take some adjustment to get the shutter speed time correct. Also, if you are doing writing please remember to write words backward.

Lastly, for overhead firework photos please remember to use a tripod for steady shots in low light. To get a crystal clear image lock the exposure with the AE/AF lock by holding down on the focus button. These tips will help you take great fireworks photography on a mobile phone this summer.


Take a minute to try these tips to become a great smartphone photographer. Want more inspiration? Here are some additional resources that can help you:
How to Take The Best Selfie? 10 Tips for Photos With your Phone
LitraTorch Review- Mobile Photography and Video Adventure Light
How to Take Instagram Photos Like a Pro With a Phone
Give those tips a read and you’ll be ready with new hacks and tips to help you make the most of your phone’s camera. See our photos on Instagram at @picxtrix.

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