First Attempt at Long Exposure Sparkler Photos

On Friday we spent the evening with my sister-in-law, her husband, and my in-laws for a late New Year’s Day celebration. We did the usual — lots of cocktails flowing (this time it was mojitos), dogs playing (we had all 4 chasing each other around), and delicious food (Rebecca made tacos — steak, chicken, AND fish — and they were AMAZING, per usual). My Mom had brought over a few packs of sparklers earlier in the day that I must have left at her house after one of our summer BBQs and it was fate. I brought my camera and the sparklers and we tried our hand at long exposure sparkler photos! It’s really not that tough — you set the shutter speed manually and opt for something long-ish, around 20-30 seconds. Make sure you have a tripod so it stays completely still while it’s shooting (or simply set the camera on some kind of solid surface that’s at the right height for what you’re photographing). We had Tyler, my brother-in-law, manning the camera while Rebecca and I were the sparkler-holders and twirlers. We did some test shots and failed a few times but I think the end results were well worth it…

First we tried a basic circle to see how long to set the shutter speed for…


We tried some numbers and… failed.


I tried my hand at creating a “surrounded by sparkler light” shot a la this famous Pinterest photo but it ended up looking insane.


Rebecca tried it and it was definitely better…


Then, BOOM! Success!


And our crowning achievement…


WOO! We definitely plan to try more — some earlier in the night so there’s more ambient light from the sky, some with longer exposures, more people, etc. They’re fun, but I imagine they’ll be sliiiightly more fun when it’s not 20 degrees outside. 🙂

4 thoughts on “First Attempt at Long Exposure Sparkler Photos

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