iPhone content creation: The different ways to capture the beauty of fireworks with your iPhone

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

We went to the Swamp Fox Festival fireworks in Marion, Iowa, in 2019, and of course I wanted to see how I could use my iPhone X to capture it in pictures and video.

Let’s look at:

  • slo mo
  • time lapses
  • Boomerang video
  • regular video
  • stills (aka photos)

Slo mo video

I tried slo mo first. Here’s my story on how to do that.


You really have to anticipate when the action you want to be slowed down will happen. This worked out okay but also was some luck. I started shooting a moment after they fired off from the ground.

I did use the iPad/iPhone trim function to cut the final video above down some.

Time lapse

Then I tried a time lapse video of parts of the show.

How to: How to shoot time lapse on your iPhone

My sample from the fireworks:


This is just a few minutes of the 20-minute display. It probably would have been worth setting the iPhone up on a tripod and shooting the entire show in time lapse.

Boomerang in Instagram Stories

I love the boomerang effect and it worked for this too. Open your Instagram and start a new Story. Then go to boomerang.

Here’s what I came up with there:

Of course you can save your Story or pieces of it and then use it in other places. Like I’ve done here.

Point and shoot video

I was done shooting video and had put my phone away. And then this scene happened;

In this case, I pulled my iPhone out, swiped left and just started recording. Easy breezy.

Still photos

I shot some photos too, but forgot to switch to shooting in Live mode, which would have been helpful.

The stills are okay, but I bet they would have been better shot in Live. More options to choose from.

Of course, I would turn into journalist and content creator mode attending a fireworks display. What do you expect? LOL. Creating content is easier than ever, but also harder. Picking the right tool and medium at the right time and making the best choice, requires some quick thinking.

Planning also helps. If I actually wanted to cover it front to end, I could have done something like this:

    Do a podcast with the on-site experts
    Time lapse of the whole thing
    Selected boomerangs and slo mos
    Story on how people watched it. For example, we drove into a nearby parking lot and weren’t even at the official event.
    I could even turn that into a map for next year: the best spots to watch the firework.

Either way, the ways to tell visual stories are becoming easier and easier. Let’s use the tools we have and tell the stories worth sharing in the way best suited.