A bit too late for Canada Day, a bit too soon for Celebration of Light, but I want to talk about fireworks photography etiquette. And really, this applies to any public gathering (parade, concert, et cetera) where you’re tempted to spend most of your time observing through your camera (or often, smartphone or tablet) rather than just enjoying the moment.
Don’t block the folks behind you. I admit, I’ve succumbed and become one of those people who use their iPad (mini, in my case) as a camera in public. But if you ever see me holding my tablet up over my head to photograph a parade or fireworks, thus blocking the view of the people behind me, you have my permission to grab the tablet out of my hands and smack me with it. Right in the face.
Consider, will you ever look at these photos again? How many of us spend the entirety of a 30-minute fireworks show futzing with our camera, trying to get the perfectly-timed shot, taking hundreds of pictures in hopes of getting one that turns out… and then never actually do anything with those images, beyond maybe posting one to our Twitter/Instagram/Facebook?
Turn off your damn flash. The flash on your digital camera or smartphone isn’t going to do diddly-squat to help illuminate the giant exploding ball of fireworks that’s probably miles away. All it’s doing is distracting everyone around you – and momentarily blinding the unfortunate soul who turned around right as your flash went off in their face.
What photo etiquette do you wish people followed during fireworks?