Tip-Top Tips for Shooting Fireworks

With the 4th of July fast approaching, you’re probably already searching for the best ways to shoot them ‘werks.

We’ve got you covered here with a few quick ‘n dirty tips and an excellent article covering more depth.

Quick Tips

  • Prime Location: Scout out the best location for the show in advance – downwind of the fireworks and free of obstructions.
  • Manual Focus: Your auto-focus is gonna have a rough time here, so don’t rely on it. Manually set your focus to infinity (or a bit closer for Canons.)
  • Low ISO: You’ll want the blacks to remain black, so keep things at or under ISO 100.
  • High Aperture: Wide aperture is key with fireworks, since they’re just made of burning embers. Shoot at f/8-f/16.
  • Low Shutter Speed: Use bulb mode if you have it. If you’re bulb-less, go for the longest shutter speed you’ve got.

Check out even more tips in this article at Digital Photography School.

Photo by Micah Goff


You may have noticed that photography has increased in popularity in the past decade, you know, just a bit.

This photo boom can almost entirely be attributed to the photoing power of mobile phones. We’ve entered a new golden age of photography and it’s fascinating to watch current culture mix up the art a bit.

In this article on ImageBrief, Avril Delaney (whoa, cool name!) covers what she believes to be the top five ways pop culture is influencing photography. She presents some interesting challenges artists face as a result of these influences, and we’re always up for a challenge … or 5!

5 Ways Pop Culture is Influencing Photography

Photo by Ozzy Jaime

Surf’s Up!

Capturing the drama, movement, varied textures and colors of the sea is something almost every artist attempts. We’ve come a long way from mixing pigment on cave walls. These days we can snag a wave with a tap of our finger.

Technology has elevated our ability to catch waves, and in more ways than pop-out boards. Waterproof casings, almost infinite storage capacity and lightning fast shutters make for stunning photos when combined with daring photogs.

Take a look at this article with gallery on three such surf chargers.

Been craving to carve out some of your own photos? Check out the waterproof iPhone Supersuit. You could snap a photo, edit and share all before taking the drop. Epic!


Photo by Clark Little

Gramming for Good

Your Instagram presence is a superpower just waiting for that perfect opportunity to shine in selfless acts of kindness.

Welcome to your Hero moment. Gramming for Good is a new project that matches up talented ‘grammers with non-profit organizations, so you can use your visual power for good.

Sign up to participate here. Gramming for Good will match you up with a non-profit organization that suits your style and interests. Take over their account for a week, donate old gems from your photo collection, or spark a long-term collaboration and extend your impact.

If you’re in the Bay Area, check out Gramming for Good’s event coming up on June 11th.

Villains need not apply (we’ll keep you updated on when Tinder for Minions launches.)

Photo by Gramming for Good

Last Chance
Mother’s Day Ideas

Mother’s Day is less than a week away, and we’re compiling every idea we have for your perfect gift.

We know our own shop is stuffed full of fun goodies for Mom and we’ve already handpicked the best handmade gifts for her too.

But we’re so pumped about Mother’s Day this year that we decided to scour the ‘net for juuuust a couple more awesome gifts.

  • This Wood Block Cleat from Artifact Uprising is our favorite way to show off their signature prints.
  • These personalized Stickers are super affordable, unique and ripe with possibilities.
  • Personalize this Spa Box to showcase your favorite mom-time photo while also giving her a way to enjoy spa-time.
  • Who doesn’t love cookies? Gift Mom a Cookie Box Subscription … and, uh, grab us one too while you’re at it. Mmmmm….cooookies.

Sometimes the best gift is time. Take her out to dinner, a movie or both! Spend some silly time taking instant portraits or making a photo recipe book. You’ll have a great time and create something to remember.

Mom rocks, and you do too! Make this Mother’s Day a blast for you both.

Photo by Artifact Uprising

I’m Back From Vacation. Now What?

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Vacation time’s almost over! Your phone and camera are filled with photos from all your fun trips…what now?

You don’t want them stored in your laptop forever, but there isn’t enough shelf space in the world to show them off.

Where we’re going we don’t need shelves.

We’ve rounded up some our favorite photo projects from our archives and elsewhere around the ‘net to show you what to do with those awesome photos of yours.

10 Ideas for Showing Off Vacation Photos


3 Ways to Embellish Your Engineer Prints

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Unless you’ve been living under a big fat rock, you are all over our Engineer Prints right?

Yup folks, we are now printing your photos human sized in lo fi black and white ink. Deck the walls! And floor. And ceiling!

If you’ve done just that and want EVEN more pizzazz, we’ve got you covered.

Three ways to give your prints color with some personality to boot coming atcha. Go go go!

Make Your Engineer Prints Even More Amazing


Sam Horine:
Travel Photography Tips and Tricks

How do you capture the magical feeling of traveling to a new city for the first time?

Heck if we know! So … We found someone who does.

Sam Horine shoots cityscapes so stunning a scroll through his Instagram feed feels like a trip around a whole new world.

We wanted to know just how he captures the cities he visits so very well, so we asked him … and he told us!

Learn to Shoot Cityscapes Like a Pro (Sam Horine Specifically)


How To Upcycle Any Book Into A Photo Album

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If a picture tells a thousand words, how many words would a book turned into a photo album tell?

Give your loose photos a new home by turning any old book into a rad new photo album.

Rewrite history (books) or be the hero in a graphic novel with a quick snip and a slide.

Hardback, paperback or horseback, we’ll show you how to turn any book into a photo album!

Learn How to Turn All Your Books Into Photo Albums


Yeehaw! It’s a Firework Photography Roundup

History Fact: Shortly after signing the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Franklin invented fireproof pants. He knew … Freedom = Fireworks.

Before tomorrow night’s celebrations of freedom sparkle across the sky, brush up on your firework photo taking skills.

Study 11 Tips for Photoing Fireworks

Learn to Light-Paint with Sparklers

Or, if you dislike following rules as much as you dislike tea taxes, exercise creative freedom with these twists on firework photography.

  • Shoot a video completely out of focus. Stanislas Giroux did, and it’s so dreamy.
  • Make your firework photos look like sea creature pix with a simple focusing trick á la David Johnson.
  • Or, simply film your fireworks then reverse the video like Julian Tay.

Now, grab your camera, go out, and make ol’ Ben proud.