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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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                        1 How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life 2 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power 3 13 Essential Self-Care Tips for Busy People 4 How to Reduce Mental Stress Quickly (And Naturally) 5 Overcome Fear and Anxiety with These 4 Mindset Shifts

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                        Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                        How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                        How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                        When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                        So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                        1. Exercise

                        It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                        2. Drink in Moderation

                        I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                        3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                        Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                        4. Watch Less Television

                        A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                        Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                        5. Eat Less Red Meat

                        Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                        If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                        6. Don’t Smoke

                        This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                        7. Socialize

                        Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                        8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                        Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                        9. Be Optimistic

                        Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                        10. Own a Pet

                        Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                        11. Drink Coffee

                        Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                        12. Eat Less

                        Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                        13. Meditate

                        Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                        Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                        How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                        14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                        Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                        15. Laugh Often

                        Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                        16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                        Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                        17. Cook Your Own Food

                        When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                        Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                        18. Eat Mushrooms

                        Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                        19. Floss

                        Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                        20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                        Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                        Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                        21. Have Sex

                        Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

                        More Health Tips

                        Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                        Reference

                        [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                        [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                        [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                        [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                        [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                        [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                        [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                        [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                        [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                        [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                        [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                        [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                        [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                        [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                        [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                        [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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