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    Posted on Jul 4, 2015

    8 Ways To Take Better Smart Phone Fireworks Photos

    ♪ Ohhh say can you focus? ♪

    by ,
    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    Every Independence Day, pisspoor photos of fireworks flood Instagram and Facebook.

    vine.co

    But this is America! We can do better!

    1. Turn off the flash.

    2. Don't zoom.

    3. Keep the phone as steady as possible.

    joby.com

    Simply resting your elbow on a table to steady it will help. If you really want to capture the perfect shot, photographer Hamish Robertson says using a tripod will really give you sharper firework photos (the one pictured above is $29.95 here).

    If you have an Apple Watch, Robertson suggests using it to fire the shutter remotely. "It's a much more precise way to make sure you get the firework you want and not a great shot of a black sky in-between explosions," he says.

    4. Try a slow shutter app.

    5. Get the right exposure, between the darkest and the lightest part of the screen.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    Overexposed shot without HDR.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    Overexposed shot using HDR.

    Using the HDR feature on the iPhone makes this easier: it takes several exposures of the dark and the light areas of a photo, then blends them together to make an image where the darks aren't too dark (underexposed) and the lights aren't too light (overexposed). "It kind of takes the guess work out of getting the right exposure with the iPhone," Griffith says.

    You can also tap and hold on one part of the screen to lock the exposure — read more about how to do that here.

    6. Clean your lens.

    7. Use the "burst" mode to take lots of photos all at once.

    Natalie Brown / Via youtube.com

    "Holding your finger down on the shutter button activates burst mode — the shutter opens and closes multiple times — giving you a group of photos to look through for the perfect shot," photographer Brian Ladder tells BuzzFeed Life.

    8. Practice! And enjoy the fireworks show.

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