So many of us have great smart phones that are powerful enough to capture great shots of the fireworks to shower us into the new year, it doesn’t matter if you have an HTC device, Samsung or Nokia device, here are some tips from Fireworks photographer Andy Farrer, on how to make most of your night trying to capture images that tells a story.
1) Preparation: Find out where the fireworks will launch from and pick a vantage point which gives you a good view. Include any landmarks which will add context, rather than just photographing fireworks against a black sky. Consider wind direction and how crowded your location may get as the display starts.
2) Keeping things steady: When you’re photographing in low light it’s important to keep the camera as still as possible. Tuck in your elbows or find a wall, fence or table to lean on. Resting the camera on a bag or coat can also help. Activating tap to capture in shutter options is a good way to hold steady and capture a shot.
3) Use night mode: Some venues will have far more ambient light than others. Night mode automatically disables the flash for you, and uses the most suitable settings in darker situations. Switch back out of night mode if you want to use the flash to take photos of your friends or if the fireworks are too bright.
4) Focusing: Smartphones cameras have come a long way, for example the HTC One’s UltraPixel camera gathers 300 per cent more light than traditional smartphone camera sensors, enabling it to focus extremely well in low light situations. It will adjust itself after the first image is taken if the ambient light is insufficient for a good focus, but check how your images are coming out and tap the screen to focus if they’re not sharp. You can also tap and hold the screen to activate the auto exposure lock.
5) Don’t be shy: It will be over in a flash and a bang, so take plenty of images. You never know what fireworks are coming next so shoot first and delete later. Most smartphone cameras now allow you to shoot up to twenty stills in one moment, as well as continuous frames so make sure to take advantage of this function and don’t be afraid to switch from the ‘auto’ setting.
6) Be creative: Look behind you. Sometimes the most memorable images are not the obvious ones. Capture the emotions of people’s reactions to the fireworks while they don’t know they’re having their photos taken. Seize the moment.
7) Tell a story: Photos of venue tickets, champagne glasses, canapés and so on, all make a compilation much more engaging. Some smartphones have camera functions that can turn photos into video clips, such as the HTC Zoe which allows you to make quirky three second video snippets from your photos. A perfect way to capture New Year’s Eve fireworks.
8) Share the moment: Create a collage of your favourite photos from the evening and share them with friends and family. Add still photos or video highlights and share straight away via a URL link.