Sydney hosts one of the best NYE fireworks displays around the world and is lucky enough to be one of the first major cities to enter a new year. However, no matter where you are when midnight arrives and the fireworks display begins, chances are you are going to want to take a few photos.

While I think it is important to make sure you don’t watch the entire show through the lens of a camera, I wanted to put together a quick guide on how you can capture the fireworks from a mobile such as an iPhone in the best way possible – without the photo blurring or the fireworks being too over-exposed.

Do not use flash

Throwing light is going to do nothing here – turn off the flash.

Lower the exposure

More exposure means more light, so too much means the firework will likely appear way too bright and will lose its colour. In my experience lowering exposure captures them a lot better.

iPhone Exposure Control

iPhone Exposure Control

How: Tap then slide your finger up or down in the camera app to manually adjust the exposure.

Lock focus

Most phones like the iPhone auto-focuses on subjects as you take photos. When fireworks go off the phone may try to auto-focus each time losing time to take the photo or make them blurry. On the first firework long-tap on the screen to lock the focus – you should see AE/AF lock.

How: Tap and hold in the camera app for a second or two.

Use burst mode

Fireworks are quick so try hold down the camera button for a few seconds – iPhone will continuously take photos. You can later select your favourites then delete the rest.

Use pro apps

The default camera app is quite basic to keep things simple but, there are apps out there which offer much more control including ISO, exposure, focus, and lots more. Then there are RAW capture abilities which will greatly improve your editing potential later.

Consider using Adobe Lightroom, MuseCam, or even the new VSCO app.Enjoy the show!

Remember to also watch and enjoy the show!