Fabulous Fourth of July photos ­– captured with your smartphone

The Fourth of July means fireworks. Lots of fireworks. In fact, the American Pyrotechnics Association estimates that more than 14,000 firework displays light up the sky in the United States each year. And while it used to take a professional to capture amazing fireworks photos, times have changed. 

“Capturing beautiful firework photos on your smartphone has never been easier,” says Brandi McCune, director of sales and operations for UScellular in New England. “With a few adjustments and some basic tips, you can take advantage of your device’s built-in capabilities to take your photos from good to great.”

UScellular offers some tech tips for using your phone to capture stunning photos of firework displays worthy of sharing:

1. Use a tripod. For night-time photography, it is important to have a steady shot. The slightest movement in your photo can cause the fireworks to appear out of focus. Phone cases like those from Pelican can function as a phone stand, giving you a stable angle to capture footage. 

2. Set the flash to off. Because your focal point is the bright fireworks, it is unnecessary to use your phone’s flash to capture the photos. In fact, the flash can interfere with the exposure and potentially ruin a photo.

3. Change up your ISO value. The ISO value of your camera refers to its sensitivity to light, so increasing the value will make photos brighter. When shooting at night, especially for fireworks, try setting the ISO to 800 or less. For iPhone users, there’s no need to worry about ISO values because the phone automatically sets it.

4. Lock your exposure and focus. To set your exposure, open the camera app and tap the screen where you want to focus. Once done, you should see a sun icon that will let you adjust the exposure level of your photo, which should also lock the focus as well.

5.  Experiment with night mode. Try setting your phone on night mode to see the fireworks in a new way. This mode will cause the fireworks to appear as streaks in the night sky. 

UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. Through its After School Access Project, the company has donated more than $23 million in hotspots and service to help youth connect to reliable internet. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, visit

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