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How to photograph writing with sparklers

I had always been curious about how to write messages with sparklers.  Then, years ago, after a bride wanted to use them in their wedding photos….I was forced to learn.  I thought I would share my tips & tricks with you in case you wanted to create some sparkler art of your own this 4th of July.

Also, I shared How to Photograph Fireworks last year.  Click to check out my tutorial.

How to photograph writing with sparklers

You’ll Need:

– Sparklers

– Matches or a Lighter

– A tripod

– A friend


Place your digital SLR camera on the tripod.

Turn your mode dial to “M” for manual.  Make sure your flash is turned OFF.  Set your ISO to 100.  Your aperture should be f/16.  And your shutter speed at 3″ (three seconds).  You want enough time to actually write the message in between clicks of the shutter.  * Refer to your instruction manual if you do not know how to set your ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

If you are spelling something keep in mind that you’ll need to spell it backwards.  Also, any movement of the subject will be reflected in the image.  So, make sure they stay still before & after drawing the message or design.

Try out a few pictures and adjust the shutter speed if need be.  Remember, to slow down the shutter speed if your pictures are too dark and to increase the shutter speed if your pictures are too bright.

Have fun (and safe) 4th of July!