photograph without a tripod

How to Photograph without a Tripod – Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to photographing different scenes, there are a lot of options that you can go for and the best thing is that the accessibility that you have is unparalleled. For instance, a few days ago a friend of mine asked me how to photograph fireworks without a tripod, and while I was explaining it to them, I realised that this is a question that most people could actually have.

So, keeping that in mind, I have decided to curate a list of tips that you can actually go ahead and use if you are looking to photograph fireworks. I can already tell you that it is going to be a bit more difficult, but it is something that you can actually achieve by just being careful about it. That is why, we have decided that we are going to look at just that. So, let’s get started.

How to Photograph Fireworks without a Tripod 

Now fireworks are something that are quintessential for a lot of events, and other venues. You can see them in live shows, concerts, and so much more and the point is that as a photographer, you m9ight want to capture them because they look nice, and we simply cannot overlook that. However, for anyone who is confused, we are going to take a look at how you can get the job done. In this guide, we are going to tell you how to actually photograph fireworks without a tripod. So, let’s have a look at the guide so you can have a better understanding.

fireworks on sky

1. Using a Longer Shutter Speed

Now, this iso ne thing that might end up overwhelming so many users because of course, you are using a longer shutter speed, this means that the camera has to be held completely stable for a longer time and it can be difficult. The thing with longer shutter speeds is that you will be able to capture the light trail, making your shots look spectacular. 

In such a situation, I’d say that you are using at least 4 seconds, and I do understand that 4 seconds is a lot without a tripod, but I am going to tell you why in the next step. 

2. Always Turn on Image Stabilization

The good thing about most of the modern mirrorless cameras in the market is that they are often packed with some really stellar image stabilization. While the stabilization is not going to deliver the same result as a completely stationary tripod, it still manages to compensate for movement, and results in cleaner shots.

Make sure that you are turning that on, because it would actually help you a lot and you will be able to get a shot that is clearer, without any blur. And honestly, some blur is acceptable, because it can actually give your picture a stylistic approach, but this varies from user to user.

Green, red, and white fireworks on sky at nighttime

3. Using a Smaller Aperture

Another thing to know here is that you should always use a smaller aperture. Now, I know this might sound strange to people because you are actually trying to capture all the light possible but why go with a smaller aperture? Well, the answer behind that is rather simple, you can go ahead and use a smaller aperture and it will help you capture almost all the colors and details in the fireworks. So, using something along the lines of f/8 or higher is going to help your image a lot. Plus, you already have a longer shutter speed, which will compensate.

4. Keep the ISO as Low as Possible

Now, this is something that you absolutely have to keep in mind but when you are looking to go ahead and shoot fireworks, you have to keep the ISO as low as possible. I would suggest that you are not going above 100. The reason is simple, you are already using 4 seconds shutter speed, and in such a situation, you do not really need to go with a higher ISO, as the shutter speed would compensate more than enough.

In addition to that, higher ISO could introduce noise, and that is not what you are looking for. So, be sure that you turn the ISO all the way down.

5. Setting Up the Right Angle 

The angle is very, very important when you are talking about getting the right shot, to be honest. If you are looking to be sure that the shot you are taking has all the makings, then this is the way to go. Now, speaking of angle, finding the right spot is key here because you cannot just overlook the fact that there will be a crowd. You have to focus on the ground, as well, and make sure that you have the spot that gives you a clear spot to take the shot, in addition to that, you should also look into using a wide-angle lens but something with a variable focal length and fixed aperture.

yellow and red fireworks

6. Keeping the Camera Steady

Okay, I think this is perhaps the most crucial aspect of taking a picture of the fireworks, and this can complicate the situation for a lot of people. But you know what, it is absolutely important to look into this because without information on this, you might not get the experience you want.

If you want the best picture, try bracing yourself against something. You can use railings, walls, or anything that you can actually go ahead and brace yourself against. However, I have to tell you that you are still going to get some blurry shots, and that is what the next tip will discuss. You can also use a camera strap, put it around your neck, and try bracing it on the point where there is least amount of movement. 

I say least because if your camera has image stabilization, that will take care of whatever movement there is going to be, but you will get the best shots this way.

7. Shoot as Many Photos as You Can

Another thing to keep in mind is that whenever you are going for a photography expedition where you are expected to run into some complications, the best thing to circumvent that is to take as many photos as you can. The reason behind that is rather simple, to be honest. You can actually just go ahead and shoot as many pictures as you want.

The reason behind that is simple, you will eventually run into photos that will be blurry, and in some cases, a complete mess and unusable, too. So, in such situations, having a lot of photos at your hand increases the chance of actually going ahead and getting some pictures that you can use and edit without any issues. So, it is always better to keep this in mind.

8. Always Edit The Shots You Take

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always edit the shots that you have taken. The simplest reason here is that you get the chance to bring out the pictures that you have taken to a whole new level, and you get pictures that look stunning with every detail looking excellent. You simply should not overlook this factor whenever you are going for a photography expedition.



I do understand that taking pictures of the fireworks without a tripod is not the easiest for everyone but the point here is that if you are looking for a good way to get things done, then that is entirely possible, and in this article, we have talked about all the ways through which you can achieve that. So, you do not run into any issues that might otherwise come in the way.

So, it is important to know this whenever you are looking to go ahead and take the pictures you want to take. I do understand the complications, but it actually is entirely achievable.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can follow the same settings and tips that we have suggested in this article to get an idea of how you can perfect your firework pictures with a phone camera.

Yes, you can absolutely go ahead and photograph fireworks handheld, it might be a little complicated in the start, but it gets the job done without any issues.

Depends on how far the fireworks are taking place. I would suggest using a zoom lens that has a generous number of magnification because the idea here is that we want you to have the best zooming experience, without any thing going wrong in the process.

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