Tomorrow is July 4th. From coast to coast there will be fireworks displays to commemorate our nation’s 232nd birthday. If you are planning on bringing your camera along with you to catch one of the shows, here are some great resources with tips on how to get the perfect fireworks shot.

Smithsonian Photographers (like Nicholas Parrella whose image is seen here) share their experiences and offer some technical notes on what lens and exposure settings they used to get their shots.

You must arrive early

This is the first important thing to do if you want to get the best spot in the venue. It is even better if you spend some times to scout the location and have a little talk to the event crews to determine where the fireworks will be launched. Once you’ve got all the information needed, try to position yourself wisely. Find a clear, unobstructed view that meets your compositional requirements based on the terrain. Also try to find a place where people won’t be able to wondering around in front of the camera or worse kicking your tripod in the mid-exposure

TFC – The Fireworks Channel is all things fireworks. Not only for the 4th of July, but also New Year’s Eve, carnivals, and celebrations all around the world. They also have their own list of tips on how to get the best shot.

Most of all enjoy yourself and have a safe and happy holiday!