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Sparkler Writing with your Camera or Mobile Device

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Writing with sparklers is a fun little creative project you can do together! We love this very complete "how to" post from the Think Make Share blog over at Hallmark. 

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DIY Sparkler Photos | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Tips for taking sparkler word photos

  • Use one person per letter. (We used four people for “w-i-s-h”). Or use one person to write words in cursive. (See our “love” and “happy” photos.)
  • Have the group face the camera with the party sparklers in front of them.
  • Write the letters backwards so the camera sees the words the correct way. If it’s too hard to write the letters backwards, you can always flip the finished image in a photo editor later. 

DIY Sparkler Photos | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Advanced options

  • Use a DSLR or a point-and-shoot camera—make sure the shutter speed can be manually adjusted.
  • Place your camera on a tripod or another stable surface.
  • Set the shutter speed to 3 seconds. If your picture is too bright, increase the shutter speed to 2 seconds. If your picture is too dark, slow the shutter speed to 4 seconds. If you are comfortable changing your camera’s settings, adjust your aperture and ISO as needed.
  • Focus on the sparklers. Have someone light a sparkler in its final position to help focus in the dark.
  • Press the shutter button and count out loud so everyone has the same timing, “One-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three.”
  • The motion to create the letters should start on “one” and end on “three.”

DIY Sparkler Photos | thinkmakeshareblog.comEasy Mobile Option

  • Download an app for your smart phone that will let you adjust your shutter speed.
    • Slow Shutter Cam Free, FREE (see video tutorial below)
    • Light Painter, $0.99
    • Slow Shutter!, $1.99
    • Magic Shutter, $2.99
  • Follow the instructions above to create your sparkler photos with your smart phone.

DIY Sparkler Photos | thinkmakeshareblog.com


Don’t limit your creative firework photos to the fourth! Writing with sparklers is an unexpected way to capture the feel of casual summer gatherings, create beautiful wedding photos, and celebrate the shimmer of birthday parties.


If you're having trouble getting the hang of using the slow shudder cam app on your mobile device, here is a quick tutorial.

Slow Shudder Cam Tutorial

iPhone sparkler writing slow shutter tricks sparkler writing sparklers

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