We’re about to light up your day with the ultimate guide to fireworkography. Is that a thing? Doesn’t really matter, it is now.

To start, here’s a fun fact for you: The tradition and spectacle of fireworks dates back to the late 1770s and is best enjoyed outdoors, cuddled up on a blanket, and with undivided attention. That means, those folks who are watching through a screen, struggling to capture the moment, are essentially missing the magic of the moment. Hence, why we’ve been compelled to teach you a hands-free way to capture the show.

While firework shows and gatherings will be looking a lot different this year (thanks, 2020), we still want to provide a step-by-step look into capturing fireworks and fun Fourth-of-July-fueled light shows in general.

Step 1: Use a stable mount.

We recommend grabbing the Shorty or the 3-Way mount. Both are equipped with built-in tripods that keep the GoPro stable, as well as a mounting joint that pivots to easily adjust the tilt.

Step 2: Dial in the proper settings.

Mode: Night Lapse Photo Mode

Shutter: 2, 5 or 10 seconds. The selection depends on how large the fireworks are. In general, the sweet spot is a 5-second interval to deliver a RAW file and avoid an exposure that’s too-long.

Interval: Auto

FOV: Wide

RAW: On (if shutter speed is set to 5-second intervals or longer)

White Balance: 3200K

ISO Min: 100

ISO Max: 800

Sharpness: Low

Color: GoPro

Fireworks shot on GoPro action camera.

Step 3: Enjoy the show.

Double-check the action is framed up properly by connecting your GoPro to the GoPro app and use your device to preview what’s in the frame. Then sit back and let the GoPro do the work while you enjoy.

Hopefully this guide will help you capture the fireworks in all their glory without missing the joy of the moment. Send us your fireworks footie for a chance to be featured on GoPro social channels through the holiday weekend. Submit at gopro.com/awards.

For more night photography tips and tricks, check out this GoPro Tips tutorial on night photography with GoPro engineer and night-photographer extraordinaire Shreenivasan Manievannan.