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Tips and tricks for great fireworks photography

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) -With the Fourth of July right around the corner everyone will be oohing and ahhing at the sight of fireworks. And since ninety percent of American adults own a cell phone why not put it to good use this weekend? But it may not be as easy as you think.

Courtney Gfroerer, a professional photographer, explained the difficulties you can experience while trying to get a picture that is “social media worthy.” She says, “When its pitch black, your camera or your phone isn’t going to know where to focus because it’s black. So once the firework comes up and it’s pretty sporadic and the light could be different depending on the type of firework. It’s a little difficult to pinpoint exactly what your camera or phone needs to be doing.”

Fireworks explode over Lake Webster in North Webster, Ind., July 5, 2014. (WISH Photo/John Hanlon)

Whether you are on Snapchat, Instagram, or you just like capturing memories, the camera on your cell phone is a great way to do so. Gfroerer has some tips in order to create that long lasting memory.

She says, “You definitely want to have your flash off.”

Having the flash on could create an effect you don’t like and adding extra light will take the focus off of the fireworks.

On to the next tip, Gfroerer says, “It’s really important, especially during videos, to stay steady.”

She suggests purchasing a tripod or using something as simple as a selfie stick to better establish your shot.

Purchasing apps that have specific firework settings can be helpful but there is a free alternative. That substitute is called, burst mode. Gfroerer showed News 4 a simple way this can be done on any phone.

“You have the phone in regular photo mode but you hold down the button, so it’s not taking video but taking many photographs very fast,”

This feature will help score the perfect photo!

Lastly if you like Snapchat, try adding two filters at a time. You can do this by swiping right, holding down the filter, and doing it again.

Happy picture taking!