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Friday, July 6, 2012


when i was younger, my great aunt would always buy sparklers in the summertime.  i have so many good memories of dancing around her yard while making shapes and spelling out words with sparklers.  there was just something so special about drawing with sparklers on a perfectly warm summer night.  (don't worry, we always had adult supervision and an old metal coffee can filled with water nearby too.)  

since it has been so long since i have played with sparklers, i knew i wanted a few this year for the fourth of july.  ryan and i had so much fun making shapes with the sparklers.  i felt like i took a step right back into my childhood.  as it turns out, sparkler shapes and letters are easy to photograph once you figure out the right settings (a.k.a. we have a ridiculous amount of outtakes from our sparkler photo session).  here's what you need to do . . .

how to photograph sparkler shapes and letters:
1. use a tripod to keep your camera perfectly still
2. set your camera mode to manual
3. set your white balance to tungsten
4. set your f/stop to f 5.6
5. set your shutter speed to 4" (4 seconds) or slower depending on the amount of detail in the shape and how fast your subjects move their arms (a simple circle will photograph well at 4" but a star will photograph better at 5" or 6").
6. tell your subjects to stand still and to write their letters backwards.

now that i figured out how to photograph sparkler shapes, my next adventure will be to get a bunch of people together to spell out words.  i have seen a few examples on the internet, and it looks so cool.  we have a few sparklers left over from the fourth of july, so we will have to practice!

have a great weekend!
love, laurie


Mom H. said...

These photos are really cool! I am happy to see you enjoying your new camera!

LeiShell said...

How fun! I wish we could have sparklers or fireworks here, but mountain living makes that just too dangerous! Great shots!

Mama said...

Those pictures are impressive. The words or shapes made with the sparklers would disappear quickly but now you can digitally keep them forever. Very clever! I think Good Morning America has a segment called "In Three Words" You should send in three words written in sparklers.
I will be one of your actresses.