Are you looking forward to taking those memorable Fourth of July photos with your smartphone? As the day draws near, here are some helpful tips on how to capture those great shots of breathtaking fireworks as they happen on your iPhone or Android phones.
Unlike last year, most Americans would certainly have the urge to go out and watch the festivities in person, especially with COVID-19 restrictions lifted amidst rising vaccination numbers across the country.
4th of July Phone Camera Tips
1. Shoot a Video
What could be the hands-down choice for taking the easiest, trouble-free captivating shots of the fireworks? Shoot a video. After recording it, you can later splice it, frame grab or take a screenshot of the most memorable moment if you'd want a still photo, a USA Today article suggested. After pausing the video, press the two top side buttons if you are using a recent iPhone or the power and volume button simultaneously on Android handsets.
2. Choose the Best Spot to Take the Video
If you decide to snap away using the camera, you first need to choose the best location to take those photos, preferably in spots with lesser crowds. But in populous places, you need to arrive there early to get to the best spot, naturally with a wide view of the sky without any distractions.
3. Remember to Charge Up
Be sure you've charged up your phone. It's an oft repeated mistake that we tend to ignore our phone's battery levels, especially at that time of the night when the phone had been used up.
4. Adjust Aperture, ISO, Shutter Speed
Then, you need to adjust some settings to get the best images from your iPhone or Android phone. According to KimKomando.com, the first thing to do is take the device out of automatic mode. By shifting to manual mode, you can control important features that should impact the way how your photo would appear, such aperture and ISO. In low-light surroundings, lowering your ISO is best. You can take several test shots before getting the right balance.
Since fireworks would appear like giant balls of light, you would definitely not need a flash, Pix11.com said. How wide your aperture settings would determine the amount of light that hits the lens. For an event like the Fourth of July, an aperture of f11 to f16 is ideal.
Likewise, shutter speed would mean a lot. The longer the shutter stays open, the better your shot. KimKomando.com suggests adjusting the shutter speed to bulb mode, which allows you to keep the shutter open as long as you want.
Having a stable yet inexpensive tripod will also help elevate the experience, Pix11.com advised.
5. Use Burst Mode, Time Lapse Filters
The USA Today article noted some camera phone filters that could help you take those unforgettable shots. First is the phone's "Burst Mode" which allows you to shoot several photos in rapid succession. To achieve this, you need to slide the shutter button quickly to the left on your iPhone, and you would notice the shutter firing rapidly. This method also applies to current models of Samsung Galaxy phones.
And if you'd want to be one truly memorable, artistic, and savvy fireworks photographer, try taking shots in time lapse mode and watch the grand fireworks event you are shooting or even the entire surroundings at super-high speeds. To do this, you need to place your phone on a tripod aiming at the right location. You then need to enable time lapse on your smartphone camera as you start shooting then leave it rolling the whole time.
On the iPhone, you need to open the camera app and tap the start button, select the time-lapse shooting mode by swiping right until time lapse is selected, and the handset will start shooting in time lapse. Time lapse on Android phones depend on the manufacturer, so you need to check instructions in the accompanying manual. For recent Samsung Galaxy phones, you need to choose "Hyperlapse" after opening the Camera App before hitting the Record button.