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10 Tips For Taking Better Photos Of Fireworks On Your iPhone

10 Tips For Taking Better Photos Of Fireworks On Your iPhone

There’s no denying the beauty of fireworks. However, despite the increasing quality of smartphone cameras, it can still be difficult to get decent shots of fireworks.

If you want your Bonfire Night pictures to stand out on social media this year, follow these 10 tips and tricks…

1. HDR Mode or No HDR Mode?

HDR mode on the iPhone stands for High Dynamic Range imaging. This function controls the ratio of light to dark in a photograph, by taking multiple photos at different exposures. The result is considered a ‘truer’ image – the one that your eyes see instead of what the camera sees.

hdr-photo-example

    The above photo wasn’t taken on a smartphone but is a pretty good example of what HDR mode does – Source

    HDR mode is especially good for landscapes, sunny portraits, and low-light scenes, which is why some photographers would recommend it for fireworks.

    However, because HDR takes multiple images, it’s not very good at shooting movement.

    The best way is to try and see for yourself. Try using HDR mode and if it’s not working for you, just turn it off!

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    2. Exposure/Focus Lock

    When in camera mode, you click anywhere on your iPhone screen to focus on a particular area or subject. Holding down will cause that focus to lock, allowing you to recompose the image without losing focus (a yellow box will appear with “AE/AF LOCK”).

    iphone-camera-features-15

      This also locks the exposure – the lightness/darkness of your photo – which can be particularly helpful when photographing fireworks.

      For example, once the firework display has begun, you’ll get a good idea about where the fireworks are going to be positioned in the sky. So during the first few fireworks, hold down to lock your focus and exposure, and you’ll be prepared fro when the next fireworks go off – and get the perfect shot!

      To unlock focus and exposure, simply tap anywhere on the screen.

      3. Burst Mode

      When you hold the shutter down you can take a burst of photos (10 per second), making it easier to capture the perfect motion shot.

      photo-sequence

        Once you’ve shot a burst of images, you can go back and choose the best photos, deleting the rest.

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        4. AVOID Flash

        The flash is designed to illuminate objects a few meters away from you. As the fireworks will be many meters above your head so it’s absolutely pointless to use the flash.

        flash-photo

          You’ll just end up annoying everyone around you, and you may inadvertently see ‘ghost light’ in your photos.

          5. Use a Tripod

          To take clear photos of fireworks, you need to avoid camera shake – which is why a tripod is advised.

          pexels-photo-73082

            It doesn’t have to be big or expensive – but it does need an iPhone mount and good stability (you don’t want it falling over!).

            Alternatively, you can use any flat surface to stabilize your camera and avoid blur. Try using the timer function so you can remove your hands for even more stability.

            6. AVOID Zoom

            The zoom feature on your iPhone essentially just blows up the image instead of actually taking you closer to the subject you’re shooting.

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              This will lead to distorted images – especially at nighttime.

              7. Location

              Think about where you position yourself. Often, we think that the closer to the fireworks the better – but this just forces you to strain your neck as you look up, and isn’t a very good angle for taking photos.

              photo-1455906876003-298dd8c44ec8

                Consider standing further back, and see what other interesting objects you can include in your photos to add interest and context.

                8. Long Exposure

                Slow Shutter Cam and LongExpo are two examples of apps that allow you to take long exposure photographs on your iPhone. When using this effect on fireworks, you can create some really cool effects which make your photos stand out.

                love-957023_1280

                  Tip: Use a slow shutter speed when playing with sparklers – try writing words and drawing shapes and see what cool effects you can create. This is also a great game to play with your children to keep them entertained while they are waiting.

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                  9. Composition

                  Almost everyone takes the same composed shots of fireworks – pointing their iPhone at the sky and isolating the fireworks. Guilty? I know I am!

                  photo-1455621613471-56c7fcc60f22

                    This year, try instead to think a bit more creatively – experiment with different angles and viewpoints to really make your photos stand out from everyone else’s. The photo above works really well because it sets the scene (fireworks with the children) in a creative and more visually interesting way.

                    10. Take Lots of Photos…

                    raw

                      …but also enjoy the moment. A firework display is usually 15-30 minutes long, depending on the size of the event. You know that the most spectacular fireworks will be in the last 5-10 minutes of the display.

                      With that in mind, I tend to spend the first 5-10 minutes simply enjoying the show before taking any photos. This not only allows me to feel less guilty about watching the rest of the show through my iPhone screen, but it also means I can take in the atmosphere and emotions and try to work them into my photos.

                      Tip: Remember, if you’ve tried taking multiple photos and it’s not working – change your settings or position. You don’t have the time to waste on a set-up that isn’t producing results, so just move on until you find something you’re happy with.

                      11. [Bonus] Print Your Photos!

                      Now that you’ve mastered the art of shooting fireworks, consider printing your photographs to create lasting memories. POP BOOK is a great app for this – allowing you to create mini photo books straight from your camera roll!

                      photo-1453329180519-b4dba097ed5b

                        Featured photo credit: ComputerHotline Soirée tricolore, Aspach-le-Haut, Aspach-Michelbach, 16 July 2016 via photopin (license)

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                        Last Updated on November 15, 2019

                        Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

                        Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

                        Wouldn’t you like to be able to eat twice as much as you do now without gaining weight? If so, I have good news for you because this is possible when you learn how to increase metabolism.

                        How Much Do You Know About Metabolism?

                        Before we get to the meat, let me say that metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.[1] These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning, however, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn.

                        The metabolic rate is a rough estimate of how much energy your body needs to simply stay alive and perform all its biochemical reactions. These reactions require energy, aka burn calories.

                        Imagine that your brain alone consumes nearly 20% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure at rest),[2] your digestion and the detoxifying system come second, repairing tissues third and so on.

                        Staying alive is expensive for your body and its two main currencies are fats and sugars.

                        When I am talking about improving your metabolic rate (metabolism), I mean improving the amount of energy, your body requires to (pretty much) lay down in bed and do nothing for 24 hours.

                        Extra physical activity, extra thinking or fighting illness are things that require a lot of energy (burn a lot of calories) but they don’t really increase metabolism… actually they can decrease it.

                        Can You Naturally Change the Speed of Your Basal Metabolism?

                        The answer to this question is yes and you can also achieve an increase in metabolism and a drop in body fat by eating more.

                        Shocked? Well, I was too.

                        The way I came across this phenomenon is quite funny. Over my 10 years as a coach, I helped many busy professionals to naturally increase their metabolism by getting them leaner, fitter and stronger but, at the beginning of my career, I actually had no idea whether they were losing weight because of an increase in metabolism or because we created a calorie deficit with diet and exercise.

                        When I was training my clients regularly, they would lose weight. Every time I would take a few weeks of vacation, I would come back to London and find out that most of them gained back a generous amount of weight despite the fact that they were following their diet and they swapped our weight training sessions with cardio.

                        On the contrary, when they were going on vacation, they would do zero exercises and binge like there was no tomorrow but come back either lighter or weighing the same (but looking more muscular).

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                        Observing this phenomenon happening over and over again, got me curious about the mechanics of our metabolism and the ways to hack it.

                        Was it really possible that by relaxing and eating more food, someone could actually maintain his/her current weight or even be losing fat?

                        Driven by the desire to answer this question, I spent a good amount of years researching and testing different food strategies until I finally cracked the code to an improved metabolism that allows you to eat like a king and look like a Greek God.

                        Does Eating More Increase Metabolism?

                        Before I explain why eating more increases your metabolism, let me dig into something that I see people doing much more often: “eating less and moving more.”

                        It is quite common to see people embarking their yearly weight loss journey (usually after Christmas or Easter) by following very restrictive diets and bombarding their body with several hours of exercise per day.

                        Despite the short-term effectiveness of this approach, in the long run, if the goal is to increase metabolism and lose a lot of fat over an extended period of time, this simply won’t work.

                        As I have mentioned before, eating fewer calories and exercising more are energy-consuming activities for your body. In the first case, your body needs to use its own energy reserves to top up the missing energy it needs to fully function; and in the second, it takes your body extra energy to contract your muscles.

                        In both cases, your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure at rest) doesn’t vary much; therefore your metabolism stays unchanged.[3]

                        A different scenario happens when you eat less and move more for an extended period of time (weeks or months). In that case, your metabolism will slow down because your body is receiving a “we have little access to food and we need to run away from threats” signal.

                        Your metabolism is like your bank account.

                        To understand this concept, let’s imagine that you have $4,000 coming into your bank account each and every month. The money you spend on housing, transport, food and leisure are calibrated according to this monthly income.

                        Now, imagine that a rich uncle starts to send you $1,000 each day. What would you do? Probably, you would save that money for the first two or three days but, when you notice that $1,000 keep on coming every single day, you would likely start to spend more right?

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                        What if, instead of a rich uncle sending you money, a poor uncle needed your financial help to pay for the treatments of his illness? You would probably try your best to adjust your spending according to your old $4,000 monthly budget.

                        That’s exactly how your body reasons:

                        More Resources Coming in = More Energy Released (Improved Metabolism)

                        Fewer Resources Coming in = Less Energy Released (Decreased Metabolism)

                        Note that activities like weight training[4] and high-intensity interval training (HIIT),[5] when combined with an increase in nutrient-rich foods, will also improve your metabolism.

                        For this reason, today, when I coach a new client, I always start by increasing their daily food intake and their physical activities. Usually, people are quite confused because they come to me to lose weight and I tell them to eat more but, without fail, the next weekly weight-check shows a lower number.

                        Be aware that not all foods are equal and only certain foods have the power to increase metabolism to a noticeable extent.

                        Foods That Increase Metabolism

                        Doubling up on Snickers bars won’t improve your metabolism and you know that. What you may not know is that certain foods that are marked as “healthy” doesn’t help you with increasing your metabolism. They also make you gain weight.

                        Before giving you a list of foods to eat or avoid, let me explain a simple principle of human biochemistry.

                        Your body uses energy from three (or four) main sources:

                        • Sugars: whether you eat a Snickers bar or a banana, the carbohydrates contained in both get absorbed in the gut and become blood glucose (the basic form of sugar our body utilizes as a source of energy).[6]
                          When blood glucose is present in the bloodstream (elevated levels), the body always uses it as its primary source of energy. When blood glucose levels drop (this phenomenon happens when you’re using these sugars to fuel a physical activity or when your pancreas produced a spike of insulin and stores that glucose into fat and muscles), your body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream to use as a source of energy.
                        • Fatty acids: either from your own fat cells (adipocytes) or from whatever fat-containing foods you ate in the past 2-3 hours. Fatty acids are a slower and more consistent form of energy than sugars that your body can utilise.
                        • Amino acids: Amino acids are the broken-down form of proteins. Proteins cannot be used by the body as a source of energy, not even in their broken-down form. Your body can transform amino acids into glucose with a process called gluconeogenesis.[7] This is a very inefficient process where a decent amount of energy gets wasted (and that’s a good thing for us but I’ll get to that later).
                        • Ketones: when you don’t feed your body any source of carbs (or proteins in excess), your liver produces an alternative source of energy called Ketones. It can replace the need for glucose (most of it at least).[8]

                        Now that you know the four energy sources the body can use to fuel its metabolism, let’s get to the meat (quite literally).

                        To make this simple for you, I am going to divide foods into three categories:

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                        1. Red Flags – Avoid the red foods because they slow your metabolism. They are usually extremely low in micronutrients and high in antinutrients (agents that are highly toxic). They are highly processed or spike your insulin levels (therefore stopping your fat burning process).
                        2. Orange Foods – Limit your consumption of orange foods. The orange foods on the list are suboptimal choices but they don’t have a negative impact on your metabolism when consumed in moderation. In fact, they contain a decent amount of micronutrients and, if eaten in small amounts, they shouldn’t stop your fat burning process.
                        3. Green Foods – These are foods to consume most. Green foods will improve your metabolism and should be the main bulk of your diet.

                        Next, I’ll get into details exactly what foods to eat and avoid:

                        Sugars and Carbs

                        Sugars do not directly improve metabolism because they stop the process of fat utilisation. There is an exception to this rule though. When you eat a diet extremely low in carbohydrates and sugars for an extended period of time (two to six days onwards), introducing carbohydrates and sugars can actually improve metabolism quite a bit.

                        Unfortunately, for most of us that love eating bread, pasta, fruit and yoghurt, unless we were on a low-carb diet for the past few days, these foods are not an optimal choice.

                        Sugars like fructose (found in fruit or commercial sugar) actually decrease metabolism and should be limited. Heavily processed sugars and carbohydrates should be also limited. Here is the colour list of sugars and carbs that affect metabolism:

                        Red Flag Sugary Foods You Should Avoid:
                        • Dried fruit
                        • Commercial and packaged corn
                        • High fructose corn syrup
                        • All sorts of candies and lookalike
                        • Packaged fruit juices and purees
                        • Sugary dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, condensed milk etc
                        Orange Sugary Foods You Should Limit:
                        • Bread and flour-based products
                        • Milk and also vegan milk alternatives that are sweetened
                        • Most fruit (exceptions are in the green list below)
                        • Potatoes and potato starch products
                        • Oatmeals and other grains
                        Green Sugary and Carb-Containing Foods That Improve Metabolism
                        • All berries except strawberries
                        • Tubers like squash, carrots, parsnips etc
                        • Sweet potatoes
                        • White rice
                        • All green vegetables

                        Fats

                        Fatty acids and fats, in general, can improve or decrease metabolism depending on their composition.

                        Red Flag Fatty Foods You Should Avoid:
                        • Margarine and hydrogenated fat
                        • Lard
                        • Gmo oils
                        • Most vegetable oils from seeds and peanut oil
                        Orange Fatty Foods You Should Limit:
                        • Nuts
                        • Meat fat
                        • Nut oils (macadamia, almond, cashew etc..)
                        • Seeds
                        Green Fatty Foods You Should Eat Daily
                        • Extra virgin olive oil (non-heated)
                        • Avocado
                        • Coconut oil
                        • Butter (organic)
                        • Egg yolks (free-range)
                        • Bone marrow

                        The fatty foods in the green section tend to be very effective in increasing metabolism, especially in the absence of carbohydrates because they stimulate the production of ketones (I’ll talk about this later).

                        Bear in mind that 1 gram of fat has 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates; therefore “eating more fats” to increase metabolism should be done very gradually to avoid weight gain.

                        Proteins

                        Eating food not only sends regulatory signals to your brain about abundance vs scarcity of resources, but it can also increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).[9] It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

                        Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.[10] It increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats

                        Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, in fact, a study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.[11]

                        Also, proteins help preserve muscle mass.[12] The more muscle mass we have, the higher our basal metabolism is.

                        For these reasons, the first nutritional advice I usually give to clients is to reduce sugars and increase proteins. This quick swap is often enough to kickstart their metabolism and commence the fat burning process.

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                        Red Protein Sources That Should Be Avoided
                        • Cheap whey proteins
                        • Soy proteins
                        • GMO meat
                        • GMO eggs
                        • Packaged meat
                        Orange Protein Source to Be Limited
                        • Canned tuna
                        • Canned fish
                        • Canned meat
                        • Gluten-rich products like Seitan
                        • Farmed fish
                        Green Protein Sources to Have Daily
                        • Free-range meat
                        • Free-range eggs
                        • Wild meat and fish
                        • Whey protein isolate
                        • Collagen and beef protein hydrolyzed

                        Note that this is a general categorisation of the foods that, when added to your diet, have the power to increase or decrease metabolism. There are some specific foods and supplements worth mentioning because they have been proven to improve metabolism by increasing thyroid output or resting heart rate, they are as follows.

                        Other Foods and Supplements

                        Cold water

                        Drinking water may temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 litres) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.[13]

                        This is not a surprise since our body is made up mainly by water and proper hydration is key to a fast metabolism. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

                        MCT Oils or Powders

                        Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT have been shown to improve metabolism by stimulating Ketone production.[14] Coconut oil contains MCT fats and, when used as a replacement for cooking oil can help you improve metabolism.

                        You can buy the concentrated version of MCT oils and eat it separately to further enhance this effect. Either way, coconut oil or pure MCT oil can be a great addition to your diet if you’re following a ketogenic or intermittent fasting protocol.

                        Caffeine

                        Caffeine and coffee have been shown to improve metabolism by improving heart rate and, therefore improving calorie consumption.[15]

                        Green Tea

                        Green tea

                        is thought to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and to reduce fat production and absorption.[16]

                        Bottom Line

                        In this article, I just covered the basics of food and metabolism but, there are many other non-food related things you can do to improve your metabolism, like improving your sleep quality and following certain exercise routines.

                        For now, just know that making small and gradual changes to your diet can increase your metabolism and improve your general health. Starting from changing one habit at a time is always the best strategy to accomplish any goal.

                        Once you improve your diet, your hydration and your supplementation you can think about testing more advanced “bio-hacks” or techniques like ice baths and fasted HIIT training.

                        And remember, having a higher metabolism doesn’t only help you lose weight and keep it off but it also give you more energy and a feeling of vibrancy. If you give it time, it really is worth the investment.

                        Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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