It’s almost July 4, and you know what that means: Sparkler pics are about to light up your social media feeds! Make yours extra-amazing with help from director Mark Morton, straight from Hallmark’s Union Hill Photography Studio.
For a kid growing up in the ’80s the Fourth of July was a time for mischief. I can remember sneaking away and getting in bottle rocket wars or watching an older kid light M-80s, and leaving my ears ringing. These are things kids could never get away with today. For a low-danger-but-high-fun Fourth activity, write with sparklers. It will keep those mischief-seekers interested…and busy!
Things you will need.
- A group of people.
- A LOT of sparklers.
- A camera.
- A tripod or steady surface.
- Use one person per letter. (We used four people for “w-i-s-h”). Or use one person to write words in cursive. (See our “love” and “happy” photos.)
- Have the group face the camera with the sparklers in front of them.
- Write the letters backwards so the camera sees the words the correct way. If it’s too hard to write the letters backwards, you can always flip the finished image in a photo editor later.
- Use a DSLR or a point-and-shoot camera—make sure the shutter speed can be manually adjusted.
- Place your camera on a tripod or another stable surface.
- Set the shutter speed to 3 seconds. If your picture is too bright, increase the shutter speed to 2 seconds. If your picture is too dark, slow the shutter speed to 4 seconds. If you are comfortable changing your camera’s settings, adjust your aperture and ISO as needed.
- Focus on the sparklers. Have someone light a sparkler in its final position to help focus in the dark.
- Press the shutter button and count out loud so everyone has the same timing, “One-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three.”
- The motion to create the letters should start on “one” and end on “three.”
- Download an app for your smart phone that will let you adjust your shutter speed.
- Slow Shutter Cam Free, FREE
- Light Painter, $0.99
- Slow Shutter!, $1.99
- Magic Shutter, $2.99
- Follow the instructions above to create your sparkler photos with your smart phone.
Photos property of Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Tag us in your sure-to-be-incredible sparkler photos: @Think.Make.Share.