Getting the best out of your Northwest Arkansas fireworks photos

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DSLR users can get beautiful, clear fireworks shots using the “bulb” mode.

Next week Northwest Arkansas skies will light up with roaring fireworks as various communities will host their annual Fourth of July fireworks displays.

Last year, I shared 7 tips for getting the best shots possible with your smartphone camera or point-and-shoot digital camera. This year, I invite those of you who have a DSLR to get your camera out to enjoy the fireworks through your lens in a more creative way.

The method I used last year during 4th of July fireworks show at my parents’ house was to use the “bulb” mode on the camera, which lets you hold the shutter open for as long as you need. Using this mode, once you hit the button to take the photo the shutter stays open until the hit the button again.

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I used the black case to my iPad because I didn’t have a black card, to block the lens when no fireworks were in the air. I removed the black card each time a firework exploded. When you are ready to complete the image once you have a few firework explosions in your image you hit the button to close the shutter.

It seems tricky but it is much easier than it sounds!  The goal is to get more than one firework explosion in your image. This also allows you to let the firework trail off during your shot prior to closing off the lens with the black card.

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Ready to try your new skill? Northwest Arkansas has several public fireworks displays coming up starting with June 28 at Cross Church in Rogers. Fireworks displays are also planned in Rogers, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Beaver Lake, and Bella Vista all have public displays in their community.

You can check out this page for a complete list of Northwest Arkansas fireworks displays.