Happy 4th of July to everyone here in America.

I love when the 4th of July falls on a weekend, as it does this year. That means you can head out every night and find at least one fireworks display. Which also means you can practice your fireworks photography skills multiple times – and come up with some dynamic images.

In order to get a head start on this weekend, here are tips to help you get the best fireworks images yet. Post them on Flickr, and let us know. We’d love to see your work.

1. Find your location. If you’ve been to the same fireworks display every year, you know the direction you should face. If you’re new in town or at a vacation location, check with the locals to find the best spot for photographing.

2. Find multiple locations. If you’ll be attending one display on Friday, one on Saturday, and another on Sunday, choose different perspectives. Choose one location to be focused on the fireworks, and another to focus on the surrounding area. Cityscapes with fireworks can make great sellers. Look for people, landmarks, buildings – anything that can make your images more effective.

3. Focus on taking the shots, not looking at them. Many photographers rely on their LCD screen between each shot to make sure they are on target. Verify your exposure and settings are right up front, then turn your screen off and view your images later.

4. Concentrate on the bursts. Use long exposures to get several bursts in one image. Or avoid the trails by putting a piece of black cardboard in front of your open shutter, and remove it just as the burst is happening. Experiment with different viewpoints to gain different affects.

5. Steady your image. Use a tripod and shutter release to provide stability during long exposures.

6. Want to sell your work? Head to the microstock sites now and see what’s out there. What makes some better than others? What are the top sellers? Use that to change your perspective on what to shoot.

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