It’s almost July and you know what that means: fireworks! Learning how to write with sparklers is a fun summer activity that will light up your holiday memories (and your social media feeds). Make your sparkler photos extra-amazing with help from director Mark Morton, straight from Hallmark’s Union Hill Photography Studio.
Let the Fourth of July Fun Shine On
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 activity, get those kids to try to write words with sparklers. It will keep those mischief-seekers interested…and busy!
How to Photograph Sparklers
- A group of people.
- A LOT of sparkler fireworks.
- A camera.
- A tripod or steady surface.
Tips for Taking Sparkler Word Photos
- 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 party 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.
Sparkler Photos Aren’t Just for July!
Don’t limit your creative firework photos to the fourth! Writing with sparklers is an unexpected way to capture the feel of casual summer gatherings, create beautiful wedding photos, and celebrate the shimmer of birthday parties.
Photos property of Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Tag us in your sure-to-be-incredible sparkler photos so we can see what you create: @Think.Make.Share.