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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.

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                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!

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                    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 18, 2020

                        50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                        50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                        If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

                        That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

                        Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

                        1. Believe It to See It

                        Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

                        2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

                        While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

                        3. Keep Looking for Solutions

                        Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

                        4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

                        Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

                        5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

                        There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

                        6. Always Ask Productive Questions

                        It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

                        7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

                        Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

                        8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

                        Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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                        9. Maximize Your Strengths

                        Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

                        10. Be in It to Win It

                        Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

                        11. Know That Success Attracts Success

                        People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

                        12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

                        Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

                        13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

                        You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

                        14. Be a One-Off Original

                        Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

                        15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

                        Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

                        16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

                        Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

                        17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

                        Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

                        18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

                        We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

                        19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

                        Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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                        20. Accept Challenge All the Time

                        Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

                        21. Make Your Own Luck

                        In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

                        22. Ignite Your Initiative

                        While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

                        23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

                        Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

                        24. Champion in Communication

                        Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

                        25. Plan Your Life Strategically

                        Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

                        26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

                        To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

                        27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

                        While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

                        28. Live by Core Values

                        Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

                        29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

                        Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

                        30. Don’t Get Carried Away

                        Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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                        31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

                        Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

                        32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

                        Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

                        33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

                        Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

                        34. Change Opens New Doors

                        People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

                        35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

                        It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

                        36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

                        Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

                        37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

                        When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

                        38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

                        How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

                        39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

                        If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

                        40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

                        Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

                        41. Swim Against the Tide

                        Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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                        42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

                        More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

                        43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

                        Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

                        44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

                        While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

                        45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

                        Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                        46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

                        Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

                        47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

                        While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

                        48. Follow Through

                        Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

                        49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

                        We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

                        50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

                        To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

                        So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

                        Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

                        More About Success

                        Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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