Life Moments

A How-To Moment – How to Take Sparkler Pictures

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Have any left over sparklers from the 4th of July? Here’s a fun way to use them if you don’t want to save them for next year!

Sparkler pictures are super fun, very Instagram/Pinterest worthy, and are incredibly easy to take.

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Here are the steps you need to follow to take your own sparkler pictures!

Step One – Get your sparklers! Any kind will work, but I prefer the ones that don’t burn all the way down to the bottom. You aren’t really paying attention to how far down they are burning when you are taking the pictures, so these save you from any unnecessary injuries. You can also experiment with sparklers that change colors throughout, too!

Step Two – Wait until it gets dark outside. You will need it to be night time so that the camera can pick up the movement of the light from the sparkler as clear as possible. If you want to also have the background show up in your picture, you can take them at dusk. My sister and I took these pictures last night after we got back from watching fireworks, and it was the perfect time.

Step Three – Use the right camera. Make sure you use a DSLR camera, or one that you can adjust the shutter speed on. You will need to adjust your shutter speed so that it stays open long enough to draw/write whatever you want with your sparkler before it shuts and takes the picture. This will take some experimenting, but we found that 8 seconds was more than enough time. We used the Nikon D5100, which is the camera I use to take all of my pictures on my blog.

Step Four – Use a tripod! If you don’t have a tripod, prop the camera up on something sturdy. We set the camera on our porch’s railing. This is the most important part because you need to keep the camera steady. It can’t move or else the picture will blur. Because the shutter is staying open for so long, it will blur at the slightest bump or touch. Make sure you secure it enough so that you can hit the button to take the picture and move your arm away without it moving. This is the key to taking the perfect sparkler picture!

Step Five – Get a friend! You will need at least two people to take these pictures. One person would light the sparkler while the other one hit the capture button on the camera whenever given the ready signal. You can try to do it by yourself using a longer shutter speed, which will give you more time to get into place and draw, but just remember that the camera will pick up any movement of the sparkler. It will probably not work as well with just one person.

Step Six – Get creative. This is the fun part! Now that you have everything set up and you’ve got a buddy to help you take pictures, all that’s left to do is figure out what you are going to write or draw! Just remember that the camera will pick up any words backwards, so you need to write the letters backwards, and from right to left. Loopy/cursive handwriting also works best because again, the camera picks up every move the sparkler makes.

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And voila! You’ve made your own sparkler pictures! This is a perfect activity for the 4th of July, or really any summer event. This would also be fun to do with older children (with supervision, of course).


Have you ever created sparkler pictures before? Let me know!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you had a great 4th of July!

xoxo Rebekah

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