What could be more American that the sounds of patriotic tunes beneath a sky full of colorful explosives? That is the Fourth of July and here in Lafayette and surrounding areas, we've got some great places for you to view fireworks. Red, White and Boom is one of those events along with Freedom Fest in downtown Lafayette on Monday July 4th. These events will feature great live local music as well as a huge fireworks finale.

 Would you like to capture some of those fireworks on film, or what used to be film since almost all of us are using digital cameras? Here are some tips on how to take great pictures of the festivities. 

 I am not a professional photographer but I have found that even your camera phone has some settings you can adjust to make your picture taking better. If you are using a more sophisticated camera, look for the fireworks setting. It is usually identifies by an icon that looks like a skyrocket.

If you don't have that setting on your camera, the experts suggest you use the landscape setting. This will broaden the scope of your picture and give it more depth. Another issue many of us have with shooting pictures at night, holding the camera still. Every little movement is magnified so do your best to hold the camera as steady as you can.

If your camera is more sophisticated it might have a setting that eliminates your shaky hand movements all together. One thing you don't want to use in photographing fireworks is your flash. The flash is used for taking up close pictures in places where the light isn't so good. Remember you are hopefully quite a distance away from the explosives but because of their brightness and the darkness of the night time sky you will still get good results.

 I suggest you play with your camera during the day and explore all those setting you're afraid to mess with. You can't break the darn thing and you can always return the camera to the default settings if you don't like what you see. I do hope you will share some of your  photos with us on our Fan Page at Facebook for 97.3 The Dawg.