How to take pictures with sparklers (writing with light)

Well happy Friday friends! I wish all the Mothers out there a fabulous and relaxing Mother’s Day!

Just a quick note about the Traveling Art piece.…I know that Marian has the artwork right now. She is in the middle of her super crazy weekend at Luckett’s right now. I will keep you posted on that. Katie is chompin at the bit to get her hands on it…I cannot wait to see how this comes together!!! For real…I cannot wait!!! I will be sure to keep you posted:) If you missed it...Layla wrote a sweet post about her time with the art…  Onto something fun to try this weekend…

Spring and summer nights bring out some major family fun time. We had some sparklers at the lake this past weekend and I decided to pull the camera out and capture it all. It is really neat to see some of the shapes you can make with the light when you slow the shutter speed down. Here are some tips for “writing with light”…

how to take pictures with sparklers @cleverlyinspire (2)


how to take pictures with sparklers @cleverlyinspire (3)

Here are some tips to capturing the light:

      • I was being kind of sloppy in these pictures because I didn’t have a tripod. In many of the pictures I was balancing the camera on my knees. It works in a pinch….but to truly get a crisp shot…use a tripod or another stationary object. (I used a bar stool in some shots…)
      • The trick to getting the “lines of light” is to slow the shutter speed way down. In most of these pictures the shutter is anywhere from 1.5 seconds to 3.5 seconds. The blurrier the light, the slower the shutter speed was set. Setting the camera to the M for manual mode works best.
      • Set the ISO low. My ISO was set about 100-250. The sun was still setting when I took these….so it continued to change. The low ISO will make the “light” from the sparklers pop.
      • Aperture is way open at F 5 allowing for the most amount of light and allowing for all objects to become as focused as possible.
      • You can use the S setting on the camera (this will allow you to tell the camera to set everything else…except the shutter speed) I didn’t try it that way….but it will probably work.
      • Have fun with the shapes….hearts, infinity signs….and letters are fun to make.
      • We used a tiki torch for lighting the sparklers…easier than continually lighting matches and then rushing to set the camera up.
      • Tell the kids to remain in one spot if you want to capture them as well. The more they move…the blurrier they will appear.

sparklers pictures @cleverlyinspired (2)

Go have fun with it!! Course…I had to get in on the fun too ;)

So just remember: Set camera to M for Manual mode, Wide open aperture, Super slow shutter, Balance camera on a stationary object. Have fun with it and see what you get!

sparklers pictures @cleverlyinspired (1)


Total side note….I was thrilled beyond words to log onto Twitter the other day to find that Better Homes and Gardens placed my little blog on their Home Bloggers we Love….need less to say…I am smitten with them too;) I am blushing:) Thanks BHG! And thanks to all of you who believe in me;) xoxo

bhg twitter

Where I share fun ideas:

BeDifferentActNormal, The36thAve, Whipperberry, TipJunkie, Tatertots&Jello, TodaysCreativeBlog, SerenityNow, PositivelySplendid, IHeartNaptime, ByStephanieLynn, TheDIYClub, CRAFT. MadinCrafts. HomeStoriesAtoZ, NotJustAHousewife

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.
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11 thoughts on “How to take pictures with sparklers (writing with light)

  1. Miss Kitty

    Thanks for this great tutorial! I have always wanted to try this and with the weather getting warmer it will be a fun activity to give a go. Congratulations of being a “fav” of BHG!!!

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