The 4th of July is a cherished tradition in America. Every summer, people gather all over the country to mark the anniversary of the day the Declaration of Independence was signed and America was born. It’s a birthday party that everyone attends for the country, which will turn 240 years old this year.
It’s never been easier to capture photos of big events like the 4th of July. Everyone’s got a phone in their pocket now or at the very least a small camera they can take everywhere. What does this mean? It means that you’re just a click away from remembering your favorite moments of the day!
I’ve put together a list of cameras that will help you capture great photos of Independence Day, all that will fit into your pocket or a bag. Each product has its own benefits, so if you’re looking for a new device that is known for great photography, read on.
You’ve probably heard of GoPro cameras — they’re the small cameras that adventurers and professional photographers use to get amazing shots outdoors. These are some of the best cameras to get underwater shots and come in handy for shooting spectacles like fireworks.
The GoPro Hero4 Silver Edition is a newer generation camera that has a few interesting features. First, it can record 4K video, which is high-resolution, meaning that you will be able to record every moment of the 4th of July and see all the little details clearly.
Another feature is that for the first time, GoPro has introduced a touchscreen. This screen, which is only one and a half inches in size, allows you to interact with your settings, save and delete photos, fix focus and exposure, and more with just a few touches.
The camera comes in a kit, complete with mounts, waterproof housing and more. The camera is small enough to fit into your pocket and is great for people who love to get interesting angles or want to capture all the action, in real time, from their point of view.
This phone has great features, but the most important feature is that this camera has optical image stabilization. This means that it’s now easier to get crisp and clear photos, even if the camera moves a little. That’s great if you’re trying to take photos of fireworks or your friends running around and because it’s a passive feature on the phone, you don’t even have to worry about setting this up.
Other great features include the ability to record 4K video on the camera and the fact that the camera and its gallery now utilize 3D Touch — a feature that allows you to change settings and view the gallery within the camera without ever leaving the app.
It’s a great phone for beginning photographers and people who like the ability to take high-resolution photos and share them instantly to social media.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a marvel of a phone that happens to have one of the best cameras embedded into it. With 12-megapixel photos available in an instant, autofocus for photos taken on the go and bright captures even in the dimmest of places, the Galaxy S7 is in a class of its own.
What sets this camera apart from others that you see in smartphones is the ability to enable preview mode, which allows you to instantly delete or share your captures right from the app. Now your friends can see what you’re up to on the 4th of July in the moment, with no need to switch in between apps.
This is a camera that lends itself to the moment, ensuring that every photo you take with it is clear, in focus, and lit with just the right amount of exposure.
Photography Tips and Tricks
Now that we’ve covered some of the most mobile and easy-to-use cameras, let’s move on to some tips and tricks for capturing the best moments of your 4th of July. Don’t worry, these are tips you can use to make any photo better, no matter what type of camera you’re using, so be sure to keep them in mind during the holiday.
Don’t Use Flash
We all know that flash is a good way to get enough light in your shot, but the truth is that many flashes on cameras are simply too bright and too harsh of a light to do your photos any justice.
So what do we suggest? Try foregoing the flash and use available light. It’s a scary proposition, we know, especially if you’re shooting outdoors, but try it. With the lights from the fireworks and all the other lighting that’s around you, you’ll get a better picture without the flash.
If you’re still worried about exposure, many cameras have an auto-exposure feature that allows you to choose your level without using flash. Check your camera’s instruction manual to see how to enable auto-exposure.
Composition and Focus are Key
So we all know a good picture when we see it, but did you know there’s a secret on how to do it? The secret is — wait for it — composition and focus. Pretty simple, right?
The trick is to make sure your subject — whatever it is, whether it be a person or an object, like fireworks — is always in focus and in a place within the frame so that a viewer can clearly see it. That’s called composition, and there are hundreds of videos on Youtube on how to get the right composition.
Focus is also important. You don’t want to create a photo where your friends aren’t in focus, even though they’re your subject, right? Right. So enable focus on your camera — many have a setting just for this — and keep them clear in the frame. Trust us, your friends will thank you for this.
Shoot for Long Exposure
A pretty cool trick to use for the 4th of July is to shoot long exposure photos. The term “long exposure” means that the camera stays open longer to let more light in, resulting in an artistic photograph. This is great for taking pictures of fireworks or nighttime barbecues.
So how do you do this with a phone? Well, if you have a smartphone camera, there are apps you can download that can enable this feature on your phone. For regular cameras, there’s plenty of information on the internet on how to do that, so make sure to read up on long exposure photography for your brand of camera on the company’s forums.
The 4th of July is a fun event during the summer for Americans. We tend to go all out for it, and more often than not, we want pictures to remind us of the great fun we had that day. Do yourself a favor and take some time to read up on fun ways to photograph the day! If you have any other tips and tricks on how to shoot the 4th of July, leave them below and send us your best photographs of how you spent Independence Day!