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Fireworks are a great subject. The light emitted by the streaking incendiaries is actually much brighter than most people assume, so act accordingly.

Here are ten rules to follow for sparkling results.

1. Get a location with an unobstructed view.

2. Use a tripod.

3. Set your camera’s ISO setting to 400 or higher. Experiment with 800 and 200, too.

4. Turn OFF the camera’s built-in flash.

5. Shoot at 1/30, 1/15, 1/8 and 1/4 second shutter speeds at your largest f/stop.

6. If possible, use the Landscape Mode or Infinity focus setting.

7. Anticipate the moment of explosion before pressing the shutter release

8. Use a remote release if you can—or press the shutter button gently.

9. Include people in some of the shots—silhouettes can be dramatic; buildings add scale.

10. Watch the wind—it will carry the smoke and spark debris trail causing streaks.

—Jon Sienkiewicz